Authorities in DR Congo unveiled an electronic voting machine that will be used in key elections this year, despite accusations that the technology could skew the outcome. The Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni) showed off the machine to reporters, saying it was essential for conducting presidential, legislative and local elections due on December 23. “It’s not a cheating machine (but) a machine to simplify… (and) reduce costs,” said Jean-Pierre Kalamba, Ceni’s rapporteur. … Tension, marked by protests that have met with a bloody crackdown, is mounting.
Articles about voting issues in sub-Saharan Africa.
More than five million people have signed up to vote in Burundi’s controversial constitutional referendum in May and elections in 2020, which could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in power until 2034.
By the end of the inscription process on Saturday, “a total of 5,000,742 people” signed up, including Burundians living abroad, Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) was quoted as saying Tuesday by local media. The figure was higher than CENI’s estimate of 4.5 million earlier. This includes those who will be of voting age in time for the referendum as well as people who will become adult by the 2020 general elections, Ndayicariye said. The CENI has not stated how many of the registered people will need to wait until 2020 to be of voting age.
The African Union will provide financial and technical assistance to Zimbabwe to help ensure credible elections later this year, the chairperson of the African Union Commission told reporters Tuesday in Harare. Briefing reporters at the end of a three-day visit to Zimbabwe, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said he met separately with former President Robert Mugabe and current President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He said he discussed his meeting with Mugabe during a courtesy visit.
The election roadmap is facing a stumbling block due to a court issue over the software required to ensure legitimacy during the voting process. Laxton Group Ltd won the tender to supply the BVR kits that have been used during the voter registration process. Laxton Group argue that ZECs decision to award the de-duplication tender to IPSIDY could compromise the fairness of elections and they feel they are in the best position to provide the de-duplication service since they handled the registration that comes before de-duplication. We don’t know why ZEC decided to award different companies the respective tenders. Laxton supplied the kits that were used for registration. The next important step has been taken away from Laxton and awarded to a different company Ipsidy. Laxton says this may comromise the new voters’ roll.
The African Union (AU) has deployed its election observers to Djibouti, for the legislative elections scheduled to take place on Friday in the Horn of African nation. The Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Mahamat, has deployed the AU Election Observation Mission (AUEOM)
led by Anicet-Georges Dologuele, former Prime Minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), according to a statement from the pan-African bloc on Monday.
The United States urged the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday to scrap plans to use electronic voting for the first time in elections this year, saying it risked undermining the credibility of the historic polls. After much delay, the DR Congo will hold elections on December 23 that are expected to pave the way to the first peaceful transfer of power in the vast mineral-rich country, ending President Joseph Kabila’s 17-year-rule. US Ambassador Nikki Haley told a Security Council informal meeting that the election commission’s plan to use electronic voting for the first time posed “an enormous risk. These elections must be held by paper ballot so there is no question by the Congolese people about the result,” said Haley. “The US has no appetite to support an electronic voting system.”
DR Congo’s long-delayed election due on December 23 to choose a successor to long-serving ruler Joseph Kabila will not take place without electronic voting machines, the poll chief said Tuesday. “Without voting machines, there will be no elections on December 23, 2018,” election commission head Corneille Nangaa told AFP, speaking on phone from New York. The threat came a day after the United States, France, Britain and four other UN Security Council members called on Kabila to publicly declare that he will not run for election this year.
South African opposition parties on Monday (Feb 12) called for early elections as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wrestled with a leadership battle between President Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa. “We must proceed to the dissolution of parliament… subsequent to that, we move on to an early election,” Democratic Alliance (DA) party leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters, speaking alongside several opposition parties. The ANC’s executive committee held a special meeting on Monday, and could “recall” Zuma from office. But Zuma – who has refused to resign – would be under no constitutional obligation to obey the order.
South Africa: Democracy and violence – the threat to South Africa’s elections | Martin Plaut/Daily Maverick
The ruptures of the apartheid era have been carried over into post-apartheid society, leaving the country with a tragic reputation for beatings, murder and the abuse of women and children. Police record some 650,000 victims of violence a year. As a recent headline put it: “South Africa is one of the most violent and unsafe countries in the world.” There is little trust in the police and more than 500,000 private security guards are employed by firms and individuals at a cost of $3.7-billion a year – more than twice the number of police officers. This climate of violence is carried over into political life, yet outside of South Africa this is little understood. Most international observers assume the miracle of the reconciliation ushered in by Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with the Rainbow Nation still prevails. Yet the evidence is that political murders and intimidation now disfigure South African politics. Violence and intimidation threaten the legitimacy of the 2019 general election. Unless these issues are recognised and confronted there is a risk that the democracy for which so much was sacrificed will be undermined.
The Diaspora Voting Right Movement, a Nigerian Group based in the United Kingdom, on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to legalise Diaspora voting. Dr Philip Idaewor, the Convener of the group, said on the telephone from London that the clamour for Diaspora voting had been on for more than a decade. “ As women celebrate 100 years of voting rights in the United Kingdom, Nigerians in the Diaspora renew call for the right to vote in elections in Nigeria,” he said.