despite m23 unrest, the drc announces presidential elections in december 2023.

Despite M23 unrest, the DRC announces presidential elections in December 2023.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has announced that it will hold presidential and legislative elections on December 20, 2023. This will start a year of complicated planning in the huge Central African country, where armed groups have taken over large parts.

The date was announced during a ceremony in Kinshasa on Saturday. At the ceremony, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of kilometers, health concerns regarding Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

However, the leadership of this country of 80 million people has vowed to keep to the schedule they have established. “It is not an issue of bargaining with the constitutional dates; it is a question of us respecting them and reinforcing our democracy,” said government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya. “It is not a question of negotiating with the constitutional deadlines.”

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He estimated that the election will cost approximately $600 million, of which more than $450 million has already been earmarked for the campaign. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), election-related instability is not uncommon. The most recent presidential election, which marked the country’s first democratic transition, was postponed by two years and did not take place until December 2018, when it was eventually held. After winning the vote, Felix Tshisekedi succeeded Joseph Kabila as President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kabila had held the position for a very long time.

This time, analogous difficulties will still need to be overcome. It is anticipated that Tshisekedi would compete for office once more, and Martin Fayulu, who won the election in 2018, is one of the possible candidates to challenge him. According to the laws of the Congo, presidents are only allowed to serve a maximum of two terms.

More than 120 armed groups are still active throughout the east, including the M23 rebels, whom the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has repeatedly accused Rwanda of supporting. This is despite the fact that billions of dollars have been spent on one of the largest peacekeeping forces in the history of the United Nations. Even though a group of experts from the United Nations has said that there is evidence to the contrary, Kigali has said that the claims are false.

This year, the M23 group has launched a huge attack, which has led to the group taking over land and forcing thousands of people to leave their homes.