As the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo await the preliminary results of the Dec. 30 election, The Carter Center calls on all stakeholders to remain patient while the tabulation of final results is completed and urges election officials to ensure that the process proceeds transparently.

On Jan. 3, the president of the Independent National Election Commission (CENI) announced that because of logistical challenges in retrieving electoral results forms from across the country, the commission might require additional time to finalize tabulation, delaying the announcement of preliminary results beyond the previously scheduled date of Jan. 6.

The Carter Center recognizes the importance of the CENI’s efforts to finalize the tabulation of results and understands that this might require a few extra days. As the tabulation process proceeds, the Center urges the CENI to ensure that the process is conducted transparently, with full access to observers and political party agents at all levels. As a means of fostering transparency and public confidence, the Center urges the CENI to post polling station-level results on its website and to increase public outreach and communication about the status of tabulation.

“I congratulate the Congolese people for their high level of participation in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Dec. 30 elections,” said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. “I urge the Independent National Election Commission to apprise the public of progress in the tabulation of election results and to ensure that the final results reflect the will of the Congolese people as expressed at the polls.”

In the days ahead, it is critically important for political leaders, activists, and Congolese citizens to exercise patience. Observers and party agents should continue to monitor the process in the local results compilation centers, reinforcing transparency. Any challenges to official results should be pursued through appropriate legal channels.

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