In the DRC, the campaign for the December 20 elections is officially launched

In the DRC, the campaign for the December 20 elections is officially launched

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Published on November 19, 2023

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If the start of the campaign was officially given this Sunday, November 19, the heavyweights of the opposition did not wait for this date to motivate their bases, while the president Félix Tshisekedi, candidate for a second term, has for his part multiplied the inaugurations and left care à his team to boast about its record.

“Doubts about technical capacity”

But the campaign will intensify, with large popular meetings, appearances in the media, posters and flyers... Félix Tshisekedi himself sees things big from the first day, with a meeting at the Martyrs stadium in Kinshasa, while one of his main challengers, Martin Fayulu, will address the crowds in Bandundu, in a neighboring province.

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On December 20, nearly 44 million registered voters, out of around a hundred million inhabitants, are called to elect their president, but also to choose from 25 candidates for the legislative elections, 832 110 candidates for provincial elections and 31 for municipal elections.

A record, underlines the Electoral Commission (Ceni), saying it is determined to organize the elections on time, despite logistical difficulties in a country of 2,3 million km2 with very limited infrastructure. " There is un political agenda that wants elections on time, but there are doubts about the technical capacity,” notes Trésor Kibangula, political analyst at the Ebuteli research institute.

Crisis in the East

“The Ceni knows that this is a challenge that it must take up, its credibility and its esteem are at stake. côté political scientist Jean-Luc Kong. What is scary is the crisis in the East. » For 30 years, violence by armed groups has bloodied the region, which is experiencing a renewed crisis with the return of the former M23 rebellion, supported by neighboring Rwanda – which Kigali denies – et which took over large parts of North Kivu.

Due to this conflict, two territories of the province will not be able to vote normally, but if the provincial capital, Goma, were itself to fall, the entire process would be compromised. The M23 “will not take Goma”, says Félix Tshisekedi, who made the return of peace a priority.

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Its overall record is mixed according to analysts, catastrophic according to the opposition, which paints a very gloomy picture of the situation and immediately calls it organized fraud. Besides Martin Fayulu, who affirms that the victory gave him summer stolen in 2018, several opponents are on the starting line, including Moïse Katumbi, former governor of Katanga, Denis Mukwege, 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for his action in favor of raped women, Delly Sesanga or Matata Ponyo Mapon.

These latter met this week en South Africa, to study the possibility of a joint candidacy against the outgoing president in this single-round election. A coalition was formed and a common program adopted, but by the emissaries of only four candidates, the Fayulu camp not having joined au project.

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(With AFP)

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