President Felix Tshisekedi announced on Monday, March 18, the suspension of the results of the March 15 senatorial elections following allegations of fraud, thus blocking senators from taking office. Furthermore, gubernatorial elections initially scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 26, have been postponed until further notice. Related protests are possible across the country to denounce the decision. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected near any demonstration site.
President Tshisekedi's Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UPDS) party failed to receive a majority in local elections on March 15; former President Joseph Kabila's coalition Common Front for Congo (FCC) won roughly two-thirds in the country's senate. On election day, protests and clashes erupted in Kinshasa and Kasai-Oriental province, as UPDS supporters accused provincial assembly members of demanding bribes in exchange for their votes; at least one person was killed in the unrest.
Individuals in the DRC are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest, refrain from discussing political topics in public, and adhere to all instructions issued by their home government and local authorities.
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