Composition of the Ceni in the DRC: the difficulties are piling up

The headquarters of the CENI, the Electoral Commission, in Kinshasa, DRC, January 9, 2019. REUTERS / Baz Ratner

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4 min

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the plenary session during which the National Assembly could endorse the candidates delegated by different components for the composition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni), is finally scheduled for this Saturday in a tense climate . The opposition and certain components of the pro-Tshisekedi majority consider the commission which must present the report in this plenary session to be irregular after hearing all the designated personalities. Among these personalities is Denis Kadima, the controversial choice of six religious denominations for the presidency of the Ceni. It does not, however, have the blessing of the Catholic and Protestant religious denominations which run the Platform of Religious Confessions.So many aspects considered irregular and which mobilize opponents and some allies in power against this plenary.


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With our correspondent in Kinshasa,

Pascal Mulegwa

After having been nominated by their components, majority or civil society, - the opposition having refused at this stage to nominate its delegates for the Ceni - the candidates were placed at the disposal of a parliamentary committee which must be made up of the designated deputies. by the majority and the opposition.

Their role: to hear the candidates, give opinions on their files and submit the conclusions to the plenary in the form of a report.



For the deputies loyal to the former governor of Katanga, Moïse Katumbi, member of the ruling majority, the plenary convened to rule on their conclusions is irregular. The deputy Dieudonné Bolengetenge, is secretary of Katumbi's party, Ensemble pour la République: “

 For us, there is no matter for discussion. We cannot participate in this masquerade. The improperly called mixed and parity commission did not have the opposition delegates, so it was not a mixed commission, it was not parity either. The report here is a report fabricated from scratch by a scheming in obscure pharmacies orchestrated by those who are waiting to corporalize the Ceni


The pro-Katumbi, the second political force within the Union sacrée pro-Tshisekedi, do not hide their anger: No compromise has been found so far within the majority on the distribution of the six seats that go to the ruling coalition within the CENI. In a statement on Friday, they even threatened to "


" their participation in the Sacred Union. " 

When we provided our support to the Sacred Union, we did so in good faith.

We even proposed a draft specification of what we would have to achieve together, our partners did not hear it that way.

It is now that we realize that they had hidden agendas.

They are starting to take initiatives that have nothing to do with the interests of the population.

They are pushing the country in the wrong direction.

It is quite normal that we stop and ask ourselves questions and draw the consequences of this state of affairs, 

”said the secretary general of Ensemble pour la République.

No to any subjugation of the Ceni


The hundred or so deputies who remained loyal to Joseph Kabila are also against the convened plenary, a pressure, they say. In a statement, they put President Félix Tshisekedi in front of the facts. In 2020, in the midst of a standoff with his predecessor Kabila, he refused to appoint new leaders of the Ceni, because of irregularities during their designation in the components or their endorsement by the National Assembly. Deputy René-Sébastien Bofaya surrounded by several dozen of his colleagues from the FCC: “ 

Let us ask the President of the Republic not to endorse the appointment of a president of the CENI and the other leaders of this institution, obtained under conditions of manifest irregularity and thus to prevent the Republic from breaking the balance necessary to its survival as a State and Nation


We also say no to any subjugation of the Ceni 


Like the opposition Lamuka coalition and civil society organizations, the pro-Kabila also call for a consensus, by reviewing the texts that politicize the Ceni.

This plenary should have been held on Friday, October 15, but it was postponed because of the dissensions within the pro-Tshisekedi majority around the post of first vice-president of the Ceni, a strategic position.

Under the new law on the Ceni, it is the first deputy to the president of this institution who is responsible for supervising the conduct of the polls and collecting the results.

This post is reserved for dissident FCC MPs in Kabila.

To read also: DRC: the operational consequences of the delay in the appointment of the president of the Ceni


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  • DRC

  • Felix Tshisekedi

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