Co-founder and first ECES President
Late Abbot Apollinaire Muholongu Malumalu
Abbot Malu Malu has been the co-founder of ECES with Fabio Bargiacchi and first president of the ECES Management Board from September 2010 till June 2013 when he was re-appointed Chair of the Independent Electoral Commission of DRC before his death.
He was a Catholic priest, an activist, and a statesman of the DRC. Among other positions, he was chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the 2005 Constitutional Referendum and the 2006 presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo and between June 2013 and October 2015.
He has been Vice President and President of the forum of the Electoral Commissions of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and played a major role in other African electoral networks. Malumalu contributed in creating several institutions in support of elections at national and international level, including the Network of Francophone Electoral Competencies (Réseau des Compétences Electorales Francophones - RECEF).
He obtained a diploma of advanced studies in sciences. politics, philosophy and theology in Lyon. He also possessed a master’s degree in human rights sciences, a doctorate in political science from the University of Grenoble-II (Pierre-Mendès-France University) in 1998 and another doctorate degree in Philosophy in 2013 at the Catholic University of Lyon.
Between 1993 and 1996, he was pastor of the parish of Monestier-de-Clermont, in the diocese of Grenoble. In 1997, he returned to the DRC, where he held the position of Vice Rector and then Rector at Graben University in Butembo. He was also president of the City’s Urban Agriculture Consortium.
In 2003, he was appointed Expert in the Presidential Service of Strategic Studies attached to the Office of the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila. Shortly after, he was appointed head of the newly established Independent National Electoral Commission, which oversaw the voter registration and the organization of the various successful elections held in the DRC in 2005 and 2006.
At the end of 2007, he was in charge of the preparatory work and co-chaired the Goma Amani Peace Conference with a view of ending the Kivu war in Eastern DRC.
On 20 March 2008, he received a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Liège for successfully holding elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was then a very politically unstable country.
In December of that year was among the three candidates for the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament that honours individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought. The other candidates where the Chinese and Byelorussian dissidents; Hu Jia and Alexandre Kozouline. The Prize went to Hu Jia.
Malumalu also founded the School for Electoral training in Central Africa (Ecole de Formation Electorale en Afrique Centrale, EFEAC), which has an objective of contributing to the consolidation of democracy and good governance in Africa through the professionalisation of election administration and of electoral stakeholders in general.
In 2014, he was appointed secretary of the Central Africa Electoral Knowledge Network (Réseau du Savoir électoral de l’Afrique Centrale -RESEAC) and member of the RESEAC assembly, a body composed of election administrations from 10 different Central African countries. Malumalu’s wish was that RESEAC would be in line with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as well as to other legal regional instruments in order to mobilize synergetic actions to achieve the electoral unity of the Economic Community of Central African Countries (Communauté Economique des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale - CEEAC).