Carter Center Calls for Calm and Transparency as Counting Continues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Following Prolonged Election

(En français)

KINSHASA — In a preliminary statement (PDF) released today, The Carter Center calls for patience and transparency while election operations continue in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following the Dec. 20 election.

The Center reminds citizens to wait for the Independent National Election Commission – known by its French acronym, CENI – to announce results and urges political leaders to help promote peace as tabulation of results continues. To ensure the credibility of the process, the Center calls on CENI to post results at Local Centers of Results Compilation, as well as all polling station results on its website allowing the verification of results in accordance with international best practices to ensure the credibility of the electoral process.

The Center’s observation mission found that while CENI made significant efforts to overcome operational and security challenges to deploy the necessary materials and personnel to polling stations to hold elections on Dec. 20, many polling stations opened late or did not open at all, resulting in CENI extending voting to a second day.

The mission found that the election was competitive and citizen engagement demonstrated a strong commitment to democracy. However, there was a lack of confidence in the process, stemming in part from previous elections, as well as from gaps in transparency, especially regarding the voter register.

Although the mission observed that the campaign period was generally calm, several violent incidents were reported as election day drew closer. At least 19 deaths, including two candidates, have been attributed to election-related violence.

The mission found that socio-cultural barriers, security concerns, and challenges to accessing financial resources affected the participation of women and minority groups in the electoral process. Also, efforts to include people with disabilities and ethnic minorities appeared to have limited impact.

On Dec. 20-21, 43 observers from 22 countries visited 154 polling stations in 11 provinces. They observed the opening of polling stations, voting, closing, and counting procedures. The Carter Center was the only international election observation mission that deployed long-term observers across the country.

Some Center observers will stay in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and continue to assess the post-election process. The Center plans to issue a comprehensive final report including recommendations for future elections in the coming months


Following an invitation by the Congolese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Carter Center launched an international election observation mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in September 2023.

The Center has worked in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2006, when it observed the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections. Since that time, the Center has established a permanent office in the country, supporting citizen election observation networks, human rights defenders, and civil society-led efforts to increase the transparency of extractive industries in the country. The Center observed the 2011 national elections and deployed an expert team for the 2018 elections. In addition, the Center has provided technical assistance to electoral reform efforts and to citizen observation organizations.

The Center conducts its work in accordance with the 2005 Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and makes assessments based on the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s national legal framework, as well as regional and international obligations and standards for democratic elections.

Since 1989, The Carter Center has been a leader in election observation, monitoring more than 115 elections in 40 countries, including the United States.


Déclaration préliminaire du Centre Carter sur les élections générales en République Démocratique du Congo (PDF)


Contact: In Kinshasa, Maria Cartaya,

The Carter Center
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.