DRC: the Constitutional Court rejects an appeal against the candidacy of Félix Tshisekedi

DRC: the Constitutional Court rejects an appeal against the candidacy of Félix Tshisekedi

The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of Congo has examined petitions against candidacies in the December 20 presidential election. A request against President Félix Tshisekedi was rejected, while another targeting Moïse Katumbi awaits its verdict on October 30.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is preparing for a crucial presidential election on December 20, and the validation of candidacies is a key issue. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) had already validated 24 candidates for this election. However, there remained 11 pending requests, some of which targeted notable candidates.

During the hearing at the Constitutional Court, the first applicant, who had filed a request against the opponent Moïse Katumbi, withdrew, claiming that he had misdirected his request. However, another presidential candidate, Noël Tshiani, remained present with his lawyers to challenge Katumbi’s candidacy, alleging that he was not of Congolese origin.

The only evidence presented was a press article which, according to him, reported facts of public knowledge. The Attorney General will give his written opinion on this matter on October 30.

The petition directed against outgoing President Félix Tshisekedi received an unfavorable opinion from the Attorney General, who maintained that the petition had been filed out of time and did not concern the identity of the candidates. The petitioner, Seth Kikuni, expressed frustration, saying the court had refused to give his lawyers the floor, which he called a violation.

The representative of the electoral commission considered that all the candidatures were valid. The judges announced that all decisions would be released on October 30. The final list of candidates for this single-round presidential election should be published on November 18, two days before the start of the electoral campaign.