Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Canada's Congolese diaspora goes to the polls for the first time in its story

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Canadian residents from the Democratic Republic of Congo line up outside their embassy in Ottawa to vote.

  • Gabriel Nikundana (View profile)Gabriel Nikundana

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It’s voting day in the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 40 million voters go to the polls to choose who, the outgoing president or one of his twenty opponents, will take the helm of the country. In addition to appointing the head of state, citizens must also choose national, provincial and municipal deputies. For the first time in the country's history, Congolese living abroad can participate in the vote.

It's a day of joy, of satisfaction. I feel happy. This is the first time voting in Canada, says Tahty Fatanene Mwenkat, a citizen of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who lives in Oakland, Ontario.

He welcomes the initiative of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) which allowed the Congolese diaspora from five countries, including Canada, to exercise their right to vote.

We were lucky, it's like a privilege. Like the lottery. So, we, the Congolese of Canada, are delighted, rejoices Paul Muteba, another resident who went to Ottawa to vote.

It’s really a great joy. I would even say a consolation. As a Congolese citizen, voting is a civic duty.

A quote from Paul Muteba, Congolese citizen and resident of Canada

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