Protesters took to the streets on Sunday in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, to protest the election of a new president to head the election commission. This is the third such walk in ten days. All have been banned by the authorities.
Kinshasa was the scene on Sunday, July 19, of a new march – for the third time in ten days – against the election of a new president to head the Electoral Commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Prohibition by the authorities like the other two, this march took place without incident. The security forces monitored the few hundred activists who had responded to the call from the Lay Coordination Committee (CLC), a Catholic collective.
The end of today’s peaceful marches:
1. For a depoliticized, truly independent and credible CENI;
2. For financial and technical audit of @cenirdc and its reform before the appointment of new facilitators.
No incidents were reported at this time. pic.twitter.com/XQkPnrNT4d
– LUCHA 🇨🇩 (@luchaRDC) July 19, 2020
At least five protesters were killed during the first march on July 9 at the convening of the presidential party Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS). A policeman was lynched to death.
On July 13, the march during the call from the Lamuka coalition gathered thousands of protesters in Kinshasa, scattered with tear gas at the end of the procession.
These three marches opposed the election of a cadre for the outgoing team at the head of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Céni), Ronsard Malonda.
Already approved by the National Assemblymust the election of Ronsard Malonda be validated or not by the President of the Republic Félix Tshisekedi.
“We want a depoliticized Ceni”
Protesters accuse Ronsard Malonda, the current secretary general of CENI, of participating in the “fraud” during the previous elections.
“This time we want a depoliticized Ceni, a credible Ceni for not knowing the choice we experienced in 2018,” said Gertrude Ekombe of the Lay Coordination Committee (CLC).
It was Céni who declared Félix Tshisekedi – from the opposition party UDPS – the winner of the presidential election on 30 December 2018.
The Congolese Common Front (FCC) for his predecessor Joseph Kabila had kept the majority in the National Assembly, according to the same result from Ceni, validated by the Constitutional Court.
The opposition coalition Lamuka then condemned results “manufactured” by Ceni by claiming the victory of its candidate, Martin Fayulu.
The Catholic Church had also expressed strong reservations about these results of the Ceniers, as well as recently, the African Union (AU) and France.