In Kinshasa, asking the question of respecting the electoral deadline exposes you, in recent months, to a wide variety of answers. On the one hand, there are the ultra-pessimists, for whom it is necessary to act now on the shift and organize the conditions for a dialogue, in order to attenuate the effects of a political crisis which they consider inevitable. On the other hand, the eternal optimists will tell you that missing the deadline is not an option and that the elections can be held in them time. “You will see that they will even take place before December 2023”, gets carried away by an intimate of the Head of State.
Halfway is Denis Kadima, president of the independent national electoral commission (Ceni). Nine months after taking office, the conductor of the next election maintains, at each of his public outings, a cautious optimism. If he reaffirms as soon as he can his determination to organize a “credible and transparent” ballot in December 2023, he nevertheless multiplies the warnings and alerts on the very concrete risks of slipping of the calendar electoral.
The risk of slipping
It is on this oh so perilous crest line that this 60-year-old technician has found himself since the formalization of his appointment as head of the Ceni. More accustomed to the sleeveless jacket of the electoral expert than to the suit and tie imposed on him by his new duties, the discreet Kadima knows she is expected at the turn. Appointed at the end of a tumultuous process, accused by the two main religious denominations of the country of being the candidate of power, targeted by the opposition, which already considers him biased in the organization of this poll, the president of the Ceni understood that nothing will be forgiven him. “The population will not understand that there is a new shift”, explains Denis Kadima to Young Africa.
Does this tense context justify the cautious approach that Kadima has been adopting for several months? From his first speech, on February 3, he clearly mentioned it: listing a set of security obstacles – with two provinces still under siege -, financial and political obstacles likely “to have an impact on the electoral process “, the boss of the Ceni was much more nuanced than the power on his chances of holding the elections in them time limit.
DRC: elections in 2023, it will be complicated, warns the Ceni