FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS: Atlanta, Deborah Hakes +1 404 420 5124; Kinshasa, Baya Kara +243-812-407-659
At the invitation of the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) and the welcome of political parties, The Carter Center has launched an international election observation mission for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) elections on Nov. 28, 2011.
The early deployment of long-term observers will allow the Center to assess pre-election preparations. The Carter Center also will closely monitor legal and political developments that may impact the election, as well as partner with national organizations to advance domestic election observation skills and training. A field office has been established in Kinshasa to guide these efforts.
"The Carter Center hopes that this election observation mission will reassure the Congolese people that their struggle for democratic and credible elections remains important to the international community. Our assessment will strengthen the efforts of voters, candidates, parties, and election institutions to deliver the best possible elections on Nov. 28," said Carter Center Election Mission Field Representative Baya Kara.
The Center has deployed 10 long-term observers from nine countries in six provinces across DRC to gain firsthand knowledge of the activities of the election commission, political parties, civil society organizations, and the international community, as well as other domestic and international election observation missions. Their deployment coincides with the beginning of registration for presidential and legislative candidates and adoption of the electoral law annex.
These observers will be joined by a second group of 10 long-term observers in September and an additional 40 members shortly before the elections. The Center will release periodic public statements on electoral findings, available on its website.
The Center's observation mission is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and has been endorsed by 37 election observation groups. The Center assesses the electoral process based on the DRC's national legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements.
Present in DRC since the 2006 presidential and legislative elections, the Center opened the Kinshasa-based Human Rights House in 2007 to support human rights defenders.
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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.