Congo : Legislative elections in a climate of tension
- 3 July 2017
On 16 July 2017, voters will cast their votes in the legislative and local elections. The campaign Turn the Page - Congo* reflects upon the opportunity of this poll, for which there has not been any new guarantee of transparency since the presidential elections.
Late 2015, on the eve of the referendum to change the Constitution and the presidential elections, this very campaign already demanded the record of the polls until transparency and credibility measure are taken : reform of the electoral file and independence of the electoral commission. These demands have not been met.
Since then, the political situation has degraded. The Congolese Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH) is outraged by the violence committed against civilians in the Pool Department since the disputed reelection of Denis Sassou N’Guesso in April 2016, marked by clashes behind closed door between the armed forces and a rebel movement.
The OCDH also denounced a restriction of public freedom manifested through numerous arrests of political opponents, hindrances to freedom of expression and press freedom and the adoption of a law on associations limiting severely any initiative and criminalising activities that may constitute a threat to the institutional security and stability.