Premise Contributors Share Their Thoughts and Worries Ahead of the DRC’s 2023 General Elections


Tracking Global Events | 10 May 2023

General elections are scheduled to be held in the Democratic Republic of Congo on December 20, 2023 amidst ongoing violence in the eastern part of the country and calls for electoral reforms. We sent out a survey to our Congolese network to better understand our Contributors’ views on election related issues.


  • When asked about their intention to vote, 65% of respondents plan on voting, 14% do not, 17% are undecided, 1% are unable to vote, and 4% did not want to say.
  • Interestingly, only 32% of respondents think the elections will be held on December 20th as scheduled, 54% think it will be postponed, and the remaining 14% are unsure.
  • When asked to rate how free and fair they think the elections will be, only 18% of respondents think the elections will be completely free and fair, and 16% think it will be mostly free and fair but with minor problems. On the other hand, 20% think it will be slightly free and fair with major problems, and 27% think it will not be free and fair at all.
  • Many Contributors (46%) are also “very worried” about escalating tensions between militia groups in Eastern DRC and the government during this election season.
Opposition candidates have raised concerns about flaws and irregularities in handling the voter registration process by the Commission Electorale Nationale Independante (CENI).

  • When asked about this registration process, only 9% of respondents say they are very satisfied, and 15% are somewhat satisfied. On the other hand, 24% are very unsatisfied, and 22% are somewhat unsatisfied.

In a few weeks, the Congolese parliament will be voting on the “Congolité bill,” which aims to change the constitutional requirement for presidential candidates and restrict eligibility to only those with two Congolese parents. The bill was initially brought before Parliament in 2021 and dismissed due to its potentially divisive nature.

Opponents say it undermines the rights of Congolese citizens like Moise Katumbi, for example, who is the former governor of the Katanga region. Katumbi is a contender in the 2023 Presidential race and has a Greek-Jewish father. On the other hand, supporters of the bill argue that it ensures that no foreigners can rule the country, protects the state’s sovereignty, and makes sure that Presidents are loyal to no other country.

  • There is a decent amount of support for this bill amongst our Contributor base, with 39% strongly agreeing with it and 16% somewhat agreeing. In comparison, only 15% strongly disagree, and 18% somewhat disagree.


Using a method of convenience sampling, Premise received 500 survey responses across the DRC gathering sentiment on a wide range of election related topics including intention to vote, views on how the election is being managed by the electoral commission, and beliefs on who should be eligible for Presidency. In cases requiring rapid data collection, we utilize this type of nonprobability sampling involving the sample being drawn from the population that is ready to assist.

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