Presidential Elections in the Republic of Congo

Press Statement by Spokesperson John Kirby

The United States congratulates the Congolese people for their active participation in the March 20 presidential elections. Their enthusiasm and determination to register to vote and peacefully engage, despite many impediments, demonstrates their commitment to democracy.

We note numerous reports of irregularities that have raised concerns about the credibility of the process, including the media blackout during the polls, an imbalanced and restrictive media environment, significant disparity in access to state resources, a short timeframe for electoral preparations, and restrictions on freedoms of expression, communication, and association in the pre-election period. We urge Congolese authorities to restore communications and to complete the electoral process with accuracy, credibility, fairness, and transparency.

As the vote tallying continues, the United States urges the Congolese people to remain patient and avoid speculation. We ask all political leaders to renounce violence, call upon their supporters to remain calm, and seek to resolve any differences peacefully in accordance with existing laws and procedures.