US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on a 48-hour stay in Kinshasa, stresses the need for democratic elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo that meet international standards.
According to concurring sources, Antony Blinken denounces the escalating crackdown on activists, protesters and journalists and warns that growing intolerance towards critics risks tarnishing free, credible and timely elections in 2023.
The same sources recall that the last elections, in 2018, were marred by widespread irregularities, including the suppression of voters and candidates, and official results that were not credible, failing to meet basic international standards for a democratic election.
For Antony Blinken, the Congolese authorities must develop a precise registration process with the timely publication of an electoral list, commit not to exclude candidates or legitimate voters, guarantee the freedom of campaign of candidates and parties, and require transparent vote counting and communication of the results.
To accomplish this, the United States of America is providing $23.75 million to support elections in the DRC, including strengthening transparency and electoral administration, improving civic and voter education, empowering people (including including women and youth) the means to meaningfully participate in elections and help marginalized communities understand and access political processes.
They recall that last July, USAID and the State announced respectively 2 million USD and 1 million USD to finance international and national observation of the elections.
This commitment, according to the United States, demonstrates its desire to see free and fair elections in 2023 with transparent and inclusive electoral processes.
“In August, USAID provided an additional $10 million to promote peaceful political participation and transparency in the 2023 elections,” the US Department said.