EISA, led by Executive Director Denis Kadima, in partnership with Agir pour des élections transparent et apaisées (AETA), conducted training workshops in Kinshasa from 10 to 17 August 2018. Train-the-trainer workshops were aimed at poll watching capacity-building for political parties and independent candidates. A further workshop on electoral dispute petitions was conducted for attorneys and representatives of parties and candidates. Political parties that nominated candidates and representatives of independent candidates competing at national and provincial were invited.
This crucial workshop was undertaken within the context of the controversial introduction of electronic and counting voting machines to be used in the presidential, National Assembly and Provincial Assembly elections scheduled for 23 December 2018. The workshops included a presentation by the Electoral Commission (CENI) officials on the electronic voting machines, who then addressed participants' questions.
Over 120 party representatives of parties and candidates, who wished to prepare themselves timeously for the pending elections, attended. The primary objective was to learn from mistakes made by parties and candidates in the previous General Election, so as to avoid the poor organisation, last minute improvisation and ineffectual operations that characterised their polling observation and election petition submission in 2011.
EISA organised four workshops on electoral disputes on 4 and 5 May 2017 in Kinshasa, 28 and 29 September in Matadi, 12 and 13 October in Mbuji-Mayi and 26 and 27 October in Bukavu. A total of 102 people participated, 41 of them women. The workshops provided the beneficiary organisations with knowledge about electoral disputes and how to identify the structures responsible for solving them. They also gave participants a thorough understanding of the legal framework, enabling them, for the first time, to observe electoral disputes throughout the electoral cycle.