Congo’s electoral commission has announced that approximately 43.9 million voters have been registered for the upcoming general elections scheduled for December.
This number represents an increase from the 40.4 million voters recorded in the previous poll. However, the registration process has faced criticism from some opposition figures, who have alleged irregularities.
As the country prepares for the December 20th elections, political tension is intensifying. President Felix Tshisekedi is expected to seek a second term, and opposition candidates have been vocal in their complaints about delays and alleged anomalies leading up to the vote.
Over the weekend, anti-government protests took place, resulting in security forces firing tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
Beyond electoral concerns, the people of Congo, a nation with a population of over 95 million, are increasingly frustrated with rising living costs and escalating violence in the eastern regions.
Armed militia groups are engaged in conflicts over land and mineral resources, creating a state of insecurity that has made it impossible to register voters in some areas. The electoral commission, known as CENI, has acknowledged this issue and is actively seeking solutions to ensure the participation of voters in affected regions.
Opposition leaders have expressed skepticism regarding the number of registered voters, particularly since the commission appointed its own auditors to review the figures within a five-day timeframe.
Notably, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, which conducted an audit of the previous registration process in 2018, refused to cooperate with CENI this year due to the limited timeframe provided.
As the December general elections draw nearer, the focus remains on addressing the concerns raised by opposition candidates and ensuring a transparent and inclusive electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo.