10:00 am EST - 11:00 am EST

Past Event

Assessing the DRC’s high-stakes presidential elections amid uncertainty

Monday, December 18, 2023

10:00 am - 11:00 am EST

Online Only

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) heads to the polls on December 20. The country’s history of corruption, election irregularities, and fraud casts a shadow of doubt over the integrity of the vote, and the absence of a single credible contender worries observers who believe a united front is the only viable chance to challenge incumbent President Félix Tshisekedi. Even so, it is unclear whether the results would reflect the will of the Congolese people. The election unfolds against a tumultuous backdrop of widespread violence in the eastern region, human rights abuses in the mining industry, the departure of two international peacekeeping forces, and the European Union’s withdrawal of its election observation mission. Fragile hopes for a lawful election linger amidst these pressing concerns.

A transparent, inclusive, and peaceful electoral process and independent electoral institutions — namely the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), whose independence is regarded with mistrust — are critical. On December 18, the Brookings Africa Security Initiative hosted a conversation with policy experts on what to watch for during the pivotal days preceding the election, the significance of the vote for peace and prosperity in the DRC and the region, and the appropriate international response based on the results.

Online viewers submitted questions via e-mail to [email protected] and via Twitter/X @BrookingsFP using #DRC.