Despite the announcement by the authorities of a landslide victory for the "yes" and a "massive participation" of the electorate in the referendum of October 25, 2015, TLP – Congo (a coalition of civil society organisations which include RPDH, Transparency International’s partner in Congo Brazzaville) draws the attention of the national and international community, that this election could in no way be considered a consultation to the Congolese people.
The speed shown by the authorities in the publication of results (less than 48 hours) and the participation rate confirms that the results are prefabricated.
Curiously enough, the Congolese electoral system suddenly becomes the best performing one in the continent? To shed light on the results of this election, TLP - Congo asks the competent authorities to publish all reports issued from polling stations. The electoral law requires that the provisional results are posted at each polling station, but this procedure has generally not been respected.
Even if the Constitutional bill was passed on the 6 November 2015, it has no legitimacy given the reasons that led to its drafting, as well as the conditions surrounding the campaign and the voting, which reflects an authoritarian exercise of power and the preparation of a constitutional coup.
TLP - Congo would like to remind the conditions of repression and restrictions on freedom of expression observed since the demonstration on October 17: ban of the peaceful protests scheduled for October 20; massive deployment of security forces throughout the territory; live ammunition used on unarmed protesters; misuse of tear gas (dropped by helicopters over some neighbourhoods of Brazzaville); disruption of text messaging phone services, mobile internet, multiple radio stations; destruction of evidence involving the police (phone memory cards, etc.); dispersion of any gathering of more than three people in many neighbourhoods; religious services interruptions in Pointe Noire on October 25; and arbitrary and illegal arrests or detentions, intimidation of journalists, house arrests of political opponents, etc.
TLP-Congo appeals the international community to reject the referendum results of October 25 and the results.
Democracy and peace will only be achieved through justice, rule of law and improved governance, particularly electoral governance.
TLP-Congo makes an appeal to the international community:
- To demand an independent investigation into abuses committed by security forces
- To demand that freedom of expression and association is granted as well as the physical and psychological integrity of opposition activists and the civil society
- To demand the unconditional release of all those arrested and detained during the citizen’s campaigns against the constitutional amendment
- To request the immediate release of all the polling stations’ records, to show whether the published results are accurate
- To provide technical assistance to Congo for the redesign of the electoral register, the establishment of a truly independent electoral commission and the organization of transparent presidential elections at the end of the current mandate of the Head of State,
- To call for a broad dialogue to resolve this conflict, including the authorities in place, opposition parties and civil society.
Signed by the Congolese Civil Society organisation, members of Tournons La Page:
Action Evangélique pour la Paix (AEP)
Mme Nelly Espérancia MFOUTOU KADO
Cercle des Droits de l’Homme et de Développement (CDHD)
Roch Euloge NZOBO
Commission Diocésaine Justice et Paix (CDJP)
Commission Episcopale Justice et Paix (CEJP)
Abbé Félicien MAVOUNGOU
La Conscience Libre
Mouvement pour la Culture Citoyenne
Observatoire Congolais des Droits de l’Homme (OCDH)
Trésor NZILA KENDET
Plateforme pour le respect de la Constitution du 20 janvier 2002
Alex DZABANA WA IBACKA
Rencontre pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme (RPDH)
Réseau d’Association des Jeunes Leaders Congolais (RAJLC)
Me Welcom NZABA
Editor’s note: this is an excerpt, read full communiqué in French here.
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