Joseph Kabila will not be a candidate in December elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to government officials. Many had predicted that the 47-year-old president, in power since 2001, would run for a third term, despite being barred from doing so by the constitution. Kabila’s candidacy was opposed by the US and EU, as well as significant regional actors. Hours before the legal deadline for deposing candidatures for the polls expired, a government spokesman said that the little-known Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister, would be the ruling coalition’s candidate.
Articles about voting issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The technology company, Miru Systems Co., have growing concerns about the South Korean manufactured electronic voting machines in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s upcoming 2018 general elections. Apart from their vulnerability to hacking, there is a possibility that the QR codes used by the electronic voting machines could compromise voter and ballot secrecy. Since the first time that the DRC’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) proposed the use of electronic voting machines for the 2018 general elections, civil society organizations, and pro-democracy movements based in the DRC and around the world have been crying foul. Technical experts and security researchers identified significant similarities between the electronic voting technology currently proposed for implementation in Congo and models previously planned – and ultimately declined – for use in Argentina’s 2017 national elections.
The head of the U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo warned Thursday that the right conditions are not yet in place for presidential elections this December, and without progress, the credibility of the vote could be compromised. “As violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms continue to impact negatively on democratic space, some peaceful demonstrations are suppressed,” U.N. envoy Leila Zerrougui told Security Council members. “Civil society actors and political opponents continue to be arbitrarily arrested and media workers threatened.” Zerrougui said the parties have not implemented confidence-building measures, and the security situation, particularly in the eastern part of the country, remains volatile and is deteriorating in some areas.
Opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday called on President Joseph Kabila to step down ahead of elections in December but ruled out boycotting the poll. In an exceptional move, five parties signed a joint statement setting out demands ahead of the December 23 presidential vote, whose outcome is crucial for the sprawling, volatile DRC. “We are not going to boycott the elections, because we have known from the very beginning that this is the ruling party’s plan, to push the opposition into boycott the elections,” said Delly Sesanga, a supporter of exiled opposition leader Moise Katumbi.
Congo’s government is moving forward with plans to use electronic voting machines in this year’s highly anticipated presidential election despite warnings from watchdog groups that transparency and credibility could suffer. The vast, mineral-rich nation is under pressure to ensure a fair election in December amid concerns that President Joseph Kabila, in office since 2001, will try to run again or hold on to power. He has remained after his mandate ended in late 2016 as the election has been delayed. While Kabila cannot legally stand for a third term, the opposition worries he will. Already the election delays have been met with deadly protests. As candidates face an August deadline to declare, the voting machines have become a focus of growing concern that the vote could be manipulated.
Congo: New Voting System Vulnerabilities in Congo | Joseph Lorenzo Hall/Center for Democracy & TechnologyCenter for Democracy & Technology
Reading headlines, it might surprise some that the United States is not the only country with serious voting technology challenges. In fact, recent years have seen issues in India, Africa, and Latin America; technical experts have examined some of those systems and found them lacking. Today, I’m pleased to report that The Sentry – an NGO that works to prevent genocide and mass atrocities in Africa – released a detailed analysis (full report PDF) of the new system slated for use in the upcoming elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Sentry worked with Argentinian security researchers Javier Smaldone (@mis2centavos) and Alfredo Ortega (@ortegaalfredo) and myself to examine what little public information is available about this system. The verdict is not good.
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.
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.