Democratic Republic of the Congo: Strengthening the Political Process during the Transition Period. May 26, 2005.
Following on a US AID-supported IFES program that began in 1998, this phase of CEPPS II DRC originally was scheduled to begin November 1, 2003 and conclude March 31, 2004. In January 2004, previous project elections Technical Expert Micheline Begin was named Chief of Party Micheline Begin (Canada), replacing Ahmad Shari IT, and Jean Louis Bolltherin (France) joined the project as Administrator.
The $360,000 project focused on providing technical expertise to the DRC's embryonic election administration commission to ensure its political independence and on enabling the effective participation of civil society organizations in the DRC's democratic transition through access to reliable information. During this performance period, with the technical support of USAID partner IFES and its respective partners, the DRC Government of Transition passed the IEC Organic Law on June 5, 2004, bringing into formal existence the Independent Electoral Council, one of the five institutions of transition specified in the Global Accord. After much struggle, the lEC took on a truly independent status and cultivated civil society support in advance of the referendum, national and legislative elections that were scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2005.
The program's funding was scheduled to expire March 31, 2004, but, with the support of USAID, IFES secured three grants of $25,000 each from DAl to permit program continuation until May 31, 2004. USAID then released $120,000 in additional funding to allow program continuation until August 15, 2005. Activities conducted with these 'bridge funds' fell within IFES' scope of supporting DRC's transition and complemented IFES' previous activities. On September 30, retroactive to August 16, $1,873,319 in ESF funds were made available to IFES under a new award to allow program continuation through 30 September 2005.
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