As Democratic Republic of Congo Elections Near, Secretary-General Urges All Parties to Exercise Maximum Restraint in Words, Actions

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

Tomorrow, 20 December, the Congolese people will be called to choose their representatives during the presidential, legislative, provincial and municipal elections.  On this occasion, the Secretary-General reaffirms the continued support of the United Nations, through his Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the Congolese people and looks forward to the holding of peaceful, transparent and inclusive elections that will consolidate the country’s democratic institutions and put it on the path of economic prosperity.

To this end, he calls on the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, political leaders, civil society and the Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) to ensure that all eligible voters have access to the polling stations and cast their ballots freely, without fear of intimidation or political persecution.

The Secretary-General deplores episodes of violence recorded during the electoral campaign and urges all political actors and their supporters to refrain from any actions that would further incite violence or exacerbate hate speech against certain communities or groups and attacks against women candidates.  He encourages all parties to exercise maximum restraint in their words and actions.

For information media. Not an official record.