Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Will there be local elections next year?

I was talking to a Congolese (opposition) parliamentarian today about the 2010 budget, which has just been submitted by the government. He said that it does not include a budget line for local elections, so he doubts that they still intend on holding them. I checked and couldn't find a budget line, either. Nonetheless, the electoral commission registered 1.25 million new voters in Kinshasa alone in August and plans on issuing a total of 6 million new ID cards before the next elections in 2010.

In April this year, the election commission said that it had received $123 of the $243 million it needed to hold the local elections next year. MONUC has including in its budget $80 million for supporting these elections next year (their logistic support was key in the 2005/6 ballots). I also heard from donors several weeks ago that the Congolese government wanted them to fund the local elections but not to be too involved in the national elections of 2011.

So local elections remain a question mark for the Congo - their stakes may not be very high, as the budgets that the municipal and territorial councils control or relatively low, but they do have a fair degree of control over matters such as land tenure and local taxes, which in turn are important factors in local violence and politics.


Rogelio said...

good blog
greetings from Spain

Tanja said...

I just wanted to say that this blog is an amazing resource, thank you from Canada!

joe_au_congo said...

hi, just spotted this late. i spoke with lokola about this. he says election funding is included under funding for the CENI. if you look in the synthese des depenses par administration, they've budgeted in around FC 161 billion. at an exchange rate of FC 900 to the dollar that's about $179 million.
whether that funding ever arrives is another story i guess.

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