Fears of Election Fraud, Violence, and Protests Loom ahead of DRC Elections


Tracking Global Events | August 17, 2023

As the Democratic Republic of Congo gears up for Presidential elections, the country is facing a tense political climate marked by concerns around corruption, violence, and election fraud. Members of the opposition have accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of intentionally causing delays and introducing irregularities in the voter registration process. Additionally, in Eastern Congo, citizens have experienced violence and discrimination at voter registration centers. To better understand public confidence in the upcoming Presidential elections, Premise fielded a rapid response survey in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


  • Nearly half of all Congolese respondents surveyed stated it was difficult or very difficult to register for the upcoming elections: 19% found election registration very difficult, and 27% found it difficult (Figure 1).
  • A significant majority (82%) believe some type of problem will occur during the elections: 33% believe the elections will not be free nor fair, 28% believe the elections will have major problems, and 21% believe the elections will have minor problems. 
  • Specifically, respondents labeled their biggest concerns to be the lack of trust in electoral institutions, the possibility of fraud, and the lack of transparency in electoral institutions (Figure 2).
  • The atmosphere is tense, as well, with a vast majority (78%) believing violence or protests related to the election are likely.
  • Despite looming fears of protests, violence, and election fraud, respondents remain split on whether elections should be delayed: 37% support delaying the election, 31% oppose, and 31% do not support nor oppose the delaying of the presidential election.
Graph: How easy or difficult was it to register for the upcoming elections?
Graph: What are your biggest concerns regarding the upcoming elections?


Premise collected sentiment data about the upcoming Presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, receiving 694 responses across 28 municipalities between August 9th and 12th. This survey utilized convenience sampling, a type of non-probability sampling, that involves the sample being drawn from the population ready to assist.

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