The New Head of the Electoral Commission: Mulunda Ngoy?

According to sources in the national assembly, the members of the new national electoral commission have been nominated. It looks like the new body will be led by a close associate of Joseph Kabila and a Methodist minister, Daniel Mulunda Ngoy.

According to the law on the CENI, the majority in the national assembly gets to nominate 4 members and the opposition. It’s a strange system, as it explicitly encourages the politicization of the body – many of the members of the commission are active politicians, as opposed to during the previous body (CEI), in which, at least nominally, the chair was politically independent and came from civil society.

So who has been nominated?

I haven’t seen the names in the press yet, but the main man is reported to be Daniel Mulunda Ngoy, who is also favored to become the first president of the CENI. He is the former spiritual advisor to Laurent and Joseph Kabila and the head of the controversial PAREC non-profit organization that has organized a bunch of weapons-for-cash and weapons-for-bicycle disarmament campaigns throughout the country.

Mulunda Ngoy is very close to Joseph Kabila – he was a member of the government’s delegation to the Sun City peace negotiations in 2002-2003 and a founding member of the PPRD. According to a former minister in Laurent Kabila’s government, he was sent to help organize an alliance with former Habyarimana officers (ex-FAR) in 1998, and he was sent to Europe by Joseph Kabila in 2006 to organize the repatriation of former Mobutu officers. In other words, a close confidant of the president who is relatively independent of the various political parties, but deeply loyal to the president. He is also a Methodist minister who was a leader of the All Africa Conference of Churches.

Two of the other three commissioners nominated by the majority are technocrats, people who were in the commission before. The third is a member of Gizenga’s PALU party. If true, this is a bit strange – none of the other members of the presidential coalition has a representation?

Who has the opposition named?

Apparently, they have divided their nominations along the three parliamentary groups they have: One for the MLC, Senator Jacques Ndjoli; one for the Christian Democrats of Gilbert Kiakwama, Carole Kabanga; and one for the the Order of Republican Democrats, Laurent Ndaya.