Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on incidents related to the ongoing electoral campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General expresses her serious concern over repeated incidents hampering the proper conduct of the electoral campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She denounces the obstacles encountered by some opposition candidates during their efforts to hold public meetings in certain cities around the country, as reported in recent days in Kindu and Lubumbashi, and today in Kalemie.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General deplores the loss of human life and urges Congolese authorities to take all necessary measures to prevent further incidents. She recalls that it is the State’s responsibility to secure the electoral process, and to exercise restraint and neutrality in the use of force, in compliance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General is also preoccupied by the interference of some armed groups in the campaign, whose exactions are preventing the holding of political activities in certain areas.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General calls for the opening of the political space and the respect of rights to freedoms of expression and peaceful demonstration. She urges all parties to pursue their campaign in a calm and peaceful manner.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General recalls that the campaign period is a critical step in the electoral process. It is vital that candidates have the opportunity to present their political programmes, thus enabling Congolese citizens to choose their future political representatives in a free and informed manner.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General continues to call on and advocate with all stakeholders to ensure the widest possible consensus, resulting in transparent, peaceful and credible elections on 23 December 2018.
Kinshasa, 12 December 2018