Brazzaville, Congo – Observers of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) Tuesday said they noted several shortcomings in Congo's 15 July legislative elections.
In a preliminary report here Tuesday, the observers said that, among others, the low turnout of voters, the late opening of polling stations and the late arrival of election officers were some of the flaws noted.
They also deplored the poor control of vote-counting procedures at some polling stations, the overbearing influence of some party delegates on polling officers and the late arrival of election materials.
However, they expressed satisfaction with the smooth handling of the process and electoral materials, the good enabling environment in polling stations, the presence of national observers and the presence of representatives of the candidates.
The observers recommended, among other things, the strengthening of the sensitization of the populations on the need to participate in the vote, the continued training of electoral officers and making the voters' register reliable.
They asked for the involvement of delegates of political parties and civil society organizations in activities aimed at compiling results at the level of the National Election Organization Commission (CONEL) and the establishment of a mechanism guaranteeing women's representation in Parliament.
The observers urged the authorities to extend voting hours to 10 hours, starting from 7am so that there will be enough time for the counting of votes.
However, they observed that despite the shortcomings, "the 15 July legislative elections were free, fair and credible".