The party of President Denis Sassou Nguesso dominated as expected a first-round parliamentary election in the oil-exporting Central African state of Congo Republic, results showed on Friday, although the vote was widely shunned. Opposition parties complained ahead of the elections that Nguesso’s Congolese Workers’ Party (PCT) had privileged access to state media in a country where past votes have been tainted with accusations of fraud. Interior Minister Zephirin Mboulou acknowledged turnout had been weak but gave no official figure. The Congolese Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) estimated that only 15 percent of the some two million eligible voters turned out.
Articles about voting issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Congolese Labour Party (PCT) of President Denis Sassou Nguesso reaffirmed its dominance in the first round of legislative elections in results announced Friday by the interior ministry. The PCT took 57 out of the 69 seats that were won outright in last Sunday’s first-round vote. Another 10 were won by the parties allied to the PCT; just one was taken by the opposition, while another went to an independent candidate. The other places in the 135-seat parliament will be decided in a second round scheduled for August 5.
Voters in the oil-exporting Central African state of Congo Republic have turned out to elect a new parliament, with the ruling party of President Denis Sassou Nguesso and its allies seen holding the majority. Opposition parties have complained about a lack of access to state media during campaigning, and voter turnout was thin at a number of polling stations in the capital Brazzaville, some of which stayed open up to two hours late during the voting on Sunday. The ruling Congolese Workers’ Party (PCT) and a cluster of allied parties control all but a dozen of the nearly 140 seats in the lower house after the opposition boycotted the last poll in 2007, accusing the government of vote rigging.
Congolese voters went to the polls on Sunday for the first round of legislative elections expected to maintain an overwhelming majority for allies of longtime President Denis Sassou Nguesso. The oil-rich central African country has been open to multiparty politics since 1991 but wracked by two civil wars in which Sassou Nguesso, an army colonel who first came to power in 1979, played a prominent role. Voting got off to a late start in some parts of Brazzaville, but Sassou Nguesso, who cast his vote at midday near the presidential palace, sought to reassure the nation that everything was proceeding smoothly. ”The instructions I had given for the elections to take place in peace, transparency, for them to be free, fair and credible, have for the most part been followed,” he said.
President Joseph Kabila’s party has lost 45 percent of the legislative seats it held before November elections that were denounced as fraudulent and chaotic, according to belated results announced Thursday by Congo’s electoral commission. Kabila still will command a majority in parliament, where his coalition of several parties has won about 260 of the 500 seats, down from more than 300 in the previous assembly. Officials from the discredited electoral commission announced the last of the winning legislators Thursday in results it has issued piecemeal and following a suspension of the count from the Nov. 28 balloting.
Congo: Congo’s presidential coalition leading parliament race; call to annul votes in 7 districts | The Washington Post
Two months after voters went to polls in a chaotic election, the electoral commission announced Friday that parties supporting Congo’s president won two-thirds of legislative seats. The commission also indefinitely postponed provincial elections that were scheduled for March. Electoral officials said they also want to annul results of the legislative elections in seven of Congo’s 169 voting districts and prosecute a dozen candidates accused of introducing irregularities and violence. Local and international observers have already said the Nov. 28 elections for the president and 500 national assembly seats were too flawed to be legitimate. It was only the second democratic election Congo has ever held, with the stability of the mineral-rich African nation at stake. Critics say any election results are unreliable because millions of voters were unable to cast ballots, hundreds of thousands of ballots have been tampered with and 1.3 million completed ballots went missing.
Congo: Congolese Have Lost Confidence in the Electoral Commission, Catholic Bishops Say | Congo Planet
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for the members of the Independent National Electoral Commission to change their practices or resign following the mismanagement of last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections. In a declaration released on Thursday after a three-day meeting in Kinshasa, the bishops said that they “believe the electoral process was marred by serious flaws that call into question the credibility of the results published” by the electoral commission.
A top adviser for veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi says the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is to blame for the “fraudulent” November elections. Albert Moleka, the cabinet director of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party and spokesman for Mr. Tshisekedi, said the UN mission failed in its mandate to help Congo’s electoral commission administer a credible vote during the November elections.
“We found out that all these election figures were all made up with the complicity of the MONUSCO because it was part of the commission that validated the results,” said Moleka. “It’s a serious matter because MONUSCO was supposed to [bolster] security for the Congolese people and also to help us through the electoral process.”
The electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo has halted the vote count for parliamentary elections until experts arrive from the United States and Britain, it announced Monday. The independent national electoral commission (CENI), which has registered many complaints regarding the presidential and parliamentary elections of November 28, said it did not know when these experts would come, or how many there would be.
“There has been a first meeting at the political level, with the ambassadors of the United States and Great Britain,” followed by a “technical” meeting with the UN mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), Jacques Djoli, vice-president of the CENI, told AFP.
“Discussions must continue. We hope that at the latest tomorrow or after tomorrow things will become clearer, because we already have results that need to be validated and a population that is awaiting the end of the process,” Djoli added.
Vote counting in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s parliamentary elections has been halted, the election commission has said. It said it needed international help to complete counting following allegations of rigging in the 28 November polls. More than 18,000 candidates contested 500 parliamentary seats.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi plans to inaugurate himself as president on Friday after rejecting the incumbent Joseph Kabila’s victory. These were the first elections organised by the election commission since the end of the war in 2003 – the first poll in 2006 was held under the auspices of the UN.