The Democratic Republic of Congo will hold postponed elections in December, a spokesman for the ruling coalition said in a bid to allay fears of more of the delays that have previously sparked fatal protests. “No other solution is possible in the current electoral process except the organization in December 2018 of presidential, national and provincial elections,” the Presidential Majority’s Andre-Alain Atundu told reporters Thursday. There’s “abundant proof” of President Joseph Kabila’s determination to hold the polls, Atundu said, pointing to the government financing the electoral commission’s preparations. Elections were supposed to take place before the end of Kabila’s second term in December 2016, but the vote wasn’t organized in time. The president remained in office despite the two-term limit in Congo’s constitution, sparking protests in which many were killed by security forces. The central African nation, which gained independence from Belgium almost six decades ago, has never had a peaceful transfer of power.
Articles about voting issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Congo: Violence is roiling the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some say it’s a strategy to keep the president in power | Los Angeles Times
In a fog of tear gas, a priest in the Congolese capital drags a woman to safety after she was shot. In the churchyard. By the police. About a thousand miles away in the Ituri region, on the other side of the Democratic Republic of Congo, people fleeing a massacre climb out of boats and wade ashore, their homes burned to the ground, their dead unburied. And 700 miles from there, in the Kasai region, the United Nations discovers 80 mass graves, then blames government soldiers for most of the deaths. It is easy to see these recent scenes as unrelated incidents in the panoramic chaos of a vast and troubled nation spinning out of control. But there is another theory: The events are part of a plan.
Congolese opposition groups rounded Wednesday on the country’s electoral commission and its insistence that a long-awaited presidential vote in the vast African nation must be conducted using electronic voting machines. “Democratic Republic of Congo’s political opposition expresses its profound concern over the casual attitude of the national electoral commission (CENI) in managing the election process,” representatives of five parties said in a rare joint statement from Kinshasa. DR Congo’s long-delayed elections are slated for December 23 but there are fears of mounting unrest and organisers have already encountered a slew of logistical problems — including “millions” of duplicate names on voting registers — organising the vote in the vast, mineral-rich nation.
South Korea’s government has officially distanced itself from a firm providing electronic voting machines to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where tensions are running high ahead of a presidential poll in December. In an email sent to AFP on Tuesday, the South Korean embassy in Kinshasa spelt out what it called the government’s “official position,” expressing concern the contract could become embroiled in DRC’s political crisis. Use of the machines “could give the Congolese government a pretext for undesirable results related to the elections, notably a further delay in holding the elections,” said the statement, in French. The vote due in the vast and troubled central African country on December 23 has been twice postponed since 2016, and some analysts fear an explosion of violence if the poll is delayed again.
Jean-Pierre Kalamba waved his hand over a map of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African nation that has delayed elections for two years since the president, Joseph Kabila, refused to resign after his term ended in 2016. Kalamba, an election official, said the government is struggling to raise the $1.8 billion the electoral commission says it needs to run the next poll, set for December 23. The commission’s budget goes through the legislature, controlled by Kabila’s party — the same people the opposition accuses of delaying the elections. He added, mistrust between politicians is at fever pitch, nearly every step the commission takes is scrutinized and criticized.
A top Congolese opposition leader and other figures opposed to longtime President Joseph Kabila met in South Africa on Monday to build a coalition ahead of long-delayed elections in the turbulent, resource-rich country. Ending a three-day forum, delegates at a resort hotel near Johannesburg said they would work together to elect Moise Katumbi, who fled Congo in 2016 amid legal troubles that he said were fabricated to stop him from challenging Kabila. The meeting came amid an escalating humanitarian crisis in Congo and fears of intensifying violence in the run-up to the vote scheduled for December. Katumbi told cheering supporters that Congo must hold “credible and transparent elections” and appealed to his compatriots to “rebuild our country together.”
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.
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.
DR Congo’s electoral body trumpeted on Tuesday the arrival of the first voting machines from South Korea for long-delayed elections that the government has pledged to hold in December. The vote is supposed to bring about the belated departure of President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001, who was supposed to step down last year but postponed the polls. But it remains unclear if the 45 million Congolese voters who registered in 2017 will finally get to choose a new president, deputies and elected representatives in the vote set for December 23, 2018. “The first lot of eight voting machines were received today for the purpose of civic and electoral education of the Congolese,” said the National Electoral Commission (CENI), adding that the devices would help reduce election fraud.