«The Democratic Republic of Congo needs for its future a more beautiful country than before made of men and women with a high sense of responsibility and patriotism, proven wisdom of self-control, and elected through fair, transparent and credible elections»
With these words the Integrity and Electoral Mediation Committee (CIME) coordinator, Révérend Delphin Elebe Kapalay, closed the Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for Electoral Stakeholders (LEAD) training organised in Kinshasa from 8 to 11 May 2014. This course has been organized by Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) with the support of ECES and the Ecole de Formation Electorale en Afrique Centrale (EFEAC), to the benefit of the main representatives of Congolese religious communities.
During his closing speech, Révérend Delphin Elebe Kapalay, has stressed that «elections will be appeased and soothed only with the peace in the hearts and minds. This means that having peaceful elections is mainly an issue of human beings. It is therefore necessary for the safety, serenity and tranquillity of the electoral process, a true conversion of hearts and minds.»
The main aim of the LEAD training is to work with electoral stakeholders to develop the leadership skills that can be used when facing violence and conflict during the electoral processes. Through a combination of leadership development exercises and conflict prevention and conflict management strategies, participants in Kinshasa worked to better understand themselves and their colleagues, with the overall aim of strengthening their leadership skills and to look for shared approaches when dealing with violence.
The course was attended by more than 18 representatives from the 8 main religious communities in DRC. At the end of the training, the Representatives of the main religious committees produced a final document whose purpose is to create a Commission d’Intégrité et de Médiation électorales (CIME – Integrity and Electoral Mediation Committee). The aim of this innovative body is to:
Contribute to the prevention and management of electoral disputes in a fair and equitable way;
Promote election integrity;
Promote the use of judicial or non-judicial mechanisms for resolving electoral disputes;
Contribute to raise awareness in the fight against all forms of violence, corruption and electoral fraud;
Remind to those in power, and to voters, their duties and obligations in holding free, democratic, credible, transparent and peaceful elections;
Contribute to the extension of legal and regulatory texts related to electoral processes.
The course lasted four days and focused on the following topics: the Electoral Cycle and its phases of vulnerability, Leadership Principles, the Social Identity of an organisation dealing with integrity and electoral mediation, How to react to changes in the electoral processes, Mental Models, Challenges of including technologies in the electoral processes, Transmission of results, Vision, Mission and objectives of a Commission on Integrity and Electoral Mediation, Negotiation and Conflict Prevention Techniques.
The training took place at La Maison des Elections in Kinshasa, DRC and was facilitated by 6 experienced LEAD facilitators: Corneille Nangaa - Deputy National Executive Secretary of the CENI, Roger Bupiri - Training expert of the CENI, Clément Aganahi -ECES Senior expert in electoral technology and biometrics, Eliane Torres - ECES Capacity Development Advisor, Camille Rouaud - ECES Programm Coordinator, and Dieudonné Mirimo - Administrative Secretary of EFEAC.