Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Delivered in Plenary - 12th June 2012

Mr President

The elections in the DRC last year did return President Kabila back to power. However, the elections themselves lacked the unequivocal legitimisation of being certified as free and fair, due to incomplete monitoring of the ballot, and there were widespread reports of voter coercion and other irregularities that, as of yet, remain unresolved.

I applaud the significant contributions the EU and my own country, the UK, made towards monitoring this exercise in democracy, mindful of the vast size and strategic importance of the DRC. Election observation missions are one area in which the EU can bring real value-added to global democracy. I have participated in them myself in the past.

Kabila should now concentrate on ensuring that his administration is fully transparent and works towards recognised international standards of good governance, fighting widespread corruption, promoting transparency in the extractive industries, upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights for all DRC citizens and, in particular, as mentioned, investigating recurrent stories of atrocities in eastern Congo and bringing those in the irregular militias and armed groups to justice.