Swiss act as election observers in Congo

Three Swiss will act as independent observers to parliamentary and presidential elections being held in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on November 28.

This content was published on November 24, 2011 and agencies

The foreign ministry said two observers had been sent to the central African state as part of the European Union Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) in Congo, while a third was acting as part of the mission sent by the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF).

The EOM in Congo will number 145 observers who will be deployed at polling stations in all 11 provinces of the country.

The mission is charged with presenting a “precise, detailed and impartial evaluation of the electoral processes in accordance with the national and regional framework and the international norms and treaties signed by the DRC”, the EOM said in a statement.

The IOF has sent 16 experts to the country whose aim is to assist the institutions tasked with organising the elections.

The run-up to next Monday’s elections has been marred by accusations of fraud and concerns over logistical delays, with thousands of tonnes of ballot papers yet to be delivered to more than 62,000 polling stations.

Incumbent President Joseph Kabila narrowly beat former rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba in a second round run-off in 2006, in elections which were marked by clashes between heavily armed supporters on both sides. Hundreds of people were killed in the capital Kinshasa.

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