Respect for the constitution in DRC

Jan. 12, 2017 Weekly Graphs

After the recent postponement of the presidential elections, which had been scheduled for November 2016 (see V-Dem Graph of the Week November 18th 2016), Kabila again failed to respect the constitutional rules. The situation is angering an already-discontent opposition while the Catholic Church has been trying to broker a transition deal.

Using V-Dem’s Variable Graph Tool, this week’s graph takes a look at the variable measuring the extent to which the executive respects the constitution. High values indicate that the executive rarely violates the constitution, while low values indicate that the constitution is regularly violated without legal consequences. The graph displays the trajectory of this variable in DRC since independence from Belgium in 1960, compared to the average in Central Africa.

The graph shows that DRC has experienced very low levels of respect for its constitution in its conflict-prone history. Executive respect for the Constitution decreased after Independence, and then stagnated at a low level for over twenty years during Mobuto’s period as president and military dictator. The general elections in 2006 were followed by an upward trend in respect for the constitution, leading to the highest value between 2006 and 2009. For most of the period shown, DRC’s scores on this variable have been significantly lower than the average level of respect for the constitution in Central Africa.

To learn more about democracy in DRC or any other country in the world, use the Online Analysis Tool at 


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