Inderscience Publishers

Towards democratic consolidation in Africa? A look at the 28 November 2011 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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On 18 February 2006, President Joseph Kabila promulgated a new constitution for the Democratic Republic of Congo. This constitution was approved by referendum on 18–19 December 2005. It provides for a democratic state based on respect for the rule of law and the organisation of multiparty, free and fair elections. The 28 November 2011 elections were the second elections held under this constitution after the ones that took place in July 2006. This paper is based on the assumption that although democracy requires the holding of elections, the two concepts are not synonymous. Against this background, it critically reflects on the 28 November 2011 elections in Congo, the legislative framework that governed these elections, the results and the different reactions. It concludes that they were not free and fair and stresses the conditions for elections leading to democratic consolidation in this country and the rest of the African continent.

Keywords: Africa, African Union, democracy, democratic consolidation, elections, Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, political parties, rule of law

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