Parliament says the EU's financial support for the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) should be tied to reforms, in a resolution passed on Wednesday. It calls on the DRC to strengthen democratic institutions and guarantee security and the rule of law in time for the next elections.
The resolution, adopted by a show of hands, follows up the presidential and parliamentary elections of last November, which saw a large number of irregularities, fraud and violence. Parliament does, however, welcome the huge turn-out of voters as a sign of their attachment to the building of genuine democracy in the DRC.
Security and the rule of law
MEPs insist that the Congolese government must step up its efforts to enforce the rule of law and ensure the security of the Congolese people throughout the country. They demand investigations into the violence and violations of fundamental rights during the elections in November.
MEPs say the creation of a Constitutional Court, fundamental reforms to the Independent National Electoral Commission and the effective operation of the High Council for Audiovisual and Communications (CSAC) to ensure equal media coverage for all candidates are essential conditions for the successful organisation of the elections.
EU financial support depends on implementing recommendations
Parliament encourages the Commission and the member states to link the EU's financial support for the electoral process in the DRC to the effective implementation of the EU Election Observation Mission's 22 recommendations ahead of the forthcoming provincial and local elections. The EU contributed € 49.5 million to the electoral process in November 2011.
Support for civil society
MEPs point to the role of civil society in raising voter awareness and in monitoring elections at home and call on the EU and the international community to support Congolese NGOs.
Procedure: Motion for resolution, rule 110