Wednesday, 20 March, 2019


Congo-Kinshasa: Election Results - Congolese Organisation in South Africa Fears Chaos

Congo-Kinshasa: Election Results - Congolese Organisation in South Africa Fears Chaos Congo-Kinshasa: Election Results - Congolese Organisation in South Africa Fears Chaos
Bennie Garza | 10 January, 2019, 12:22

On November 11, Tshisekedi joined six other opposition leaders to rally behind a single unity candidate, Martin Fayulu, to take on Kabila's handpicked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary. It warns of possible crowds gathering to hear the results.

The government has cut internet service since the day after the election to prevent speculation on social media about who won, and blocked some radio stations. "Only Martin Fayulu or Felix Tshisekedi's names can be accepted".

The announcement came as riot police were deployed in the capital, Kinshasa, amid fears of a disputed result in the December 30 vote marked by accusations of vote fraud.

It "may be a message that the publication (of the results) won't meet the expectations of the Congolese people", resident John Kabamba said. "The reaction will not be only in Kinshasa, it will be all over the country". "Where did the extra seven million votes come from [for Tshisekedi's victory]?"

The election itself was delayed for more than two years, sparking sometimes violent protests as people called on President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, to step aside.

The result, announced early on Thursday, means the first electoral transfer of power in 59 years of independence in the DRC. But one Congolese election observer group, Symocel, on Tuesday reported "major irregularities" including the disappearance of envelopes containing results from almost 120 polling stations in Kinshasa, an opposition stronghold.

Last week, US President Donald Trump announced that 80 troops had been sent to nearby Gabon because of the "possibility that violent demonstrations may occur" following DR Congo's vote. CENI has come under pressure from the DRC Catholic Church's National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (Conférence Épiscopale Nationale du Congo: CENCO), which mounted its own 40,000-strong electoral observer mission and parallel vote tabulation operation. The church has urged the commission to announce accurate ones.

He was barred from running for another term under the constitution, and was supposed to step down two years ago, but the election was postponed after the electoral commission said it needed more time to register voters. Releasing untrue results would be considered a "constitutional coup d'etat", said Carbone Beni, coordinator of the Filimbi movement, calling on other African nations to make sure the people's vote is respected. "We want the same". "The truth is stubborn", he said.

The electoral commission (CENI) announced on Tuesday evening that it had initiated "a series of evaluation meetings and deliberations, at the end of which it will proceed to the publication of provisional results from the presidential election".

There are widespread concerns that a contested result could spark unrest.

Nangaa called on the Congolese people to be patient.

State television is in place to broadcast the results.

Tshisekedi, in an interview with Belgium's Le Soir newspaper, talked about Kabila's role in the DRC following the announcement of results. Mr Tshisekedi himself has acknowledged talks with the ruling party to prepare a transition of power.

"There is something fishy", said Jean-Marc Kabund, the UDPS party secretary-general.

A spokesman for the ruling coalition rejected the accusation, asking "Why would we have to steal?"

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