Belgian Foreign Minister expresses concerns about elections in D.R. Congo

The Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders (Francophone liberal) has expressed his concern about the way in which Sunday’s elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo were conducted. Observers have reported irregularities at numerous location across the country. Nevertheless, Mr Reynders is pleased that the provincial, parliamentary and presidential elections have finally taken place after having been postponed several times. 

Mr Reynders told journalists that “It is positive that the elections are taking place. The elections should originally have been held in 2016, but were postponed until 2017 and then the end of 2018, when they were put back by yet another week. In some cities where the opposition is strong there won’t be elections until March. The official reason given is the Ebola epidemic and the violence there”.

Mr Reynders added that the chaotic way in which the elections have been conducted “is entirely the responsibility of the Congolese authorities” as they had refused help from abroad.

The Belgian Foreign Minister believes that it is up to the Congolese people to decide for themselves whether the election have been conducted “correctly” and their result can be considered to be “credible”. Mr Reynders stresses the important role played by the thousands of observers the Roman Catholic Church has appointed to follow the election process. The Congolese government had refused to allow international observers from Europe and the United States.