Carter Center Statement on Need for Dialogue on Electoral Reforms in the DRC

(En français)

KINSHASA (July 17, 2020) — The controversial 2018 elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo underscored the urgency of enacting electoral reforms, developed with broad-based consensus, to ensure that the Independent National Election Commission – known by its French acronym, CENI – operates as a transparent, inclusive, and credible organization that instills public confidence in the electoral process. Unfortunately, these goals have been undermined by the political divisions surrounding the National Assembly’s recent confirmation of a new CENI chair.

The Carter Center urges President Felix Tshisekedi and other key stakeholders to quickly engage in dialogue to ensure that there is broad consensus on the selection of a CENI chair and on other key electoral reforms.

In its report on the 2018 elections, The Carter Center recommended a series of substantive institutional, legal, and policy reforms for Congolese stakeholders to consider in advance of the 2023 elections. The Center recommends that electoral reform deliberations move forward expeditiously – with input from a wide range of actors, including political leaders, legislators, civil society groups, security forces, electoral partners, and others. Key laws and reforms guaranteeing freedom of expression, freedom of the media, the right to peaceful assembly and association, gender parity, and transparency of the electoral process should be implemented well in advance of 2023.

The Carter Center has been privileged to work alongside the citizens of the DRC for more than a decade as they strive to advance democracy, human rights, peace, and development in their country. It remains committed to supporting Congolese efforts for successful democratic elections in 2023.


Déclaration du Centre Carter sur la nécessité d'un dialogue sur les réformes électorales en RDC (PDF)


Contact: Soyia Ellison,

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.