Promoting domestic discourse  on governance, security and economic issues


Kinshasa—SEPTEMBER 4, 2015— The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) welcomes the ongoing interest of the Team of International Envoys for the Great Lakes of Africa in the country’s upcoming 2015-2016 elections, which was most recently expressed after the group’s August 28th meeting in Geneva. This meeting followed a recent visit to Kinshasa by U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Thomas Perriello, where he met with President Joseph Kabila for a constructive discussion regarding the nation’s security, economic development and democratic governance.

“The DRC appreciates U.S. Special Envoy Perriello’s visit to Kinshasa, and looks forward to continued cooperation and support from the international community as we advance our objectives of inclusive economic growth, democratic governance, and the promotion of peace and security,” said Minister of Communications Lambert Mende. “Our government is committed to upholding the Constitution with regard to the upcoming elections, and to ensure that the voice and views of the Congolese people are heard throughout this process.”

During President Kabila’s meeting with Special Envoy Perriello, the two explored ways in which their governments can strengthen collaboration to promote economic growth in the DRC. They also engaged in a constructive conversation about the electoral calendar and the commitment by the DRC government and Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) to its implementation in accordance with the Constitution.

As noted in Special Envoy Perriello’s subsequent public remarks at a press conference in Kinshasa, both the DRC and the international community recognize the importance of the electoral calendar. Perriello also explained that “[p]eople have been skeptical of Congolese democracy in the past and [have] been proven wrong,” and that the United States is hopeful with regard to the upcoming elections.

In May, President Kabila called on all political parties in the DRC to join him in a national dialogue focused on creating an environment for a peaceful electoral process, in order to advance democracy, security, economic growth and freedom that DRC citizens seek. Last week, the President promulgated Parliament-approved legislation to move forward with the country’s first-ever local elections to be held on October 25, 2015.

The DRC government has also expressed that elections set for the coming months would benefit from the disbursement of financial support from international partners, as all election stakeholders puts structures and mechanisms in place that contribute to their effective implementation.

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