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Congo's preparation for elections lags, both in planning and funds

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Seven months before elections, criticism is growing louder of the lack of preparations by donors and the government alike. On Friday, the new head of the election commission – Daniel Mulunda Ngoy – opened a seminar on the electoral process in Lubumbashi. In the meantime, the national assembly is debating changes to the electoral law. There are rumors that there will be a delay in the electoral calendar and that the presidential elections may be held before the legislative polls, but we will have to wait for probably another week to have any confirmation of this.

In the meantime, where do we stand in terms of the financing of the elections?

The total budget for the elections is $618 million, which includes the regular operating budget of the electoral commission between 2007-13. The Congolese government is supposed to supply $350 million and donors $265 million. MONUSCO is also supposed to give $80 million in logistical support.

I am not sure where we stand on government support (by January they had disbursed $113 million), but here's where I think we stand on donor support. The figures might be a little outdated, as they stem from a few months back:

  • Amount asked for: $265 million
  • Amount pledged: $171 million
  • Amount signed for: $98 million

(By far the largest contributor is the UK government, with Belgium and Canada following. The US is nowhere to be seen, as it is only providing $5 million to NGOs for civic education).


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