Mbandaka, 3 July 2012 – Last Tuesday, July 3, the High Judicial Council (Conseil supérieur de la Magistrature) organized in Mbandaka, county town of Equateur province, a training workshop on electoral disputes for judges. The objective was to strengthen the judges’ technical and professional skills on the settlement of these disputes.
For three days, the 30 judges who had been invited to the workshop learned about electoral disputes through three main modules: “Political election disputes”, “Root-causes of electoral disputes” and a “Comparative study on the 2006 and 2011 electoral laws”. The teachings were provided by three trainers, including two from the Kinshasa High Judicial Council.
François Nkiele Makemo, first President of the Mbandaka Court of Appeal, co-chaired the opening ceremony with Moussa Sogo, Head of office ad interim in the Equateur Office of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); and according to him, electoral disputes stem from electoral campaigns, ballot counting or when the results are announced. And yet, in the opinion of the President of the Court of Appeal, these disputes are settled by the justice system which unfortunately is not always adequately equipped in this regard; hence the need for this specific training.
MONUSCO Justice Support Section provided logistical and financial support to the workshop.
Prior to the training in Mbandaka, a similar one was also organized in Kisangani (Province Orientale), Bukavu (Sud-Kivu), and Goma (Nord-Kivu). The next cities to host this workshop will be Kananga and Mbuji-Mayi, respectively in Kasaï Occidental and Kasaï Oriental.
Jean-Tobie Okala/ MONUSCO