Congo voters go to the polls Sunday in legislative elections in the oil-rich African country, the first since violence-marred presidential polls last year which returned Denis Sassou Nguesso to power. While no fresh violence is expected opposition parties have cried foul, as over 2 million voters are expected to cast their ballots in the first round of polling in Congo-Brazzaville to elect National Assembly members as well as local councils. Sassou Nguesso returned to office in March 2016 after a constitutional referendum ended a two-term presidential term limit, amid deadly violence notably in the Pool region neighbouring the capital Brazzaville.
Articles about voting issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Voters went to the polls in legislative elections in the oil-rich Republic of Congo on Sunday, the first since a violence-marred presidential poll last year which returned Denis Sassou Nguesso to power. The first round of polling to elect National Assembly members as well as local councils is taking place with the opposition calling foul, accusing the ruling Congolese Labour Party (PCT) of giving its candidates an unfair advantage. Electoral officials said voting was nevertheless proceeding calmly although some polling stations opened more than a hour late because of a delay in receiving voting materials.
A vote to replace Congo’s president Joseph Kabila might not be possible this year, the head of the electoral commission said. Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi said it was “a declaration of war on the Congolese people.” Corneille Nangaa, the president of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s electoral commission, said on Sunday that the 12-month deadline since the end of Kabila’s tenure was unlikely to be met for logistical reasons. “The parameters at our disposal give us, more or less, reason to think that, in December, it will probably not be possible to stick to that date,” Nangaa said in an interview on France’s TV5Monde.
The president of Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission said on Sunday that a vote to replace President Joseph Kabila will probably not be possible this year, violating a deal that let Kabila stay on past the end of his mandate. Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his second elected term in December sparked protests that killed dozens of people. The opposition quickly denounced commission president Corneille Nangaa’s announcement on Sunday as a declaration of “war”.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila has committed to unlocking the impasse over the staging of the national elections in his country. This emerged following a meeting between Kabila and President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria on Sunday. The postponement of the DRC presidential election scheduled for December 2016, led to protests in September last year, which left some 50 people dead. The opposition has accused the government of delaying elections to keep President Joseph Kabila in power. The government says vote preparations, including a census need about 18 months. After holding private talks with Kabila, President Zuma called for the resumption of negotiations to resuscitate stalled talks over elections timelines.
Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election, slated for late this year to choose a successor to President Joseph Kabila, could be delayed because of persistent militia violence in central Congo, the election commission president said on Friday. The elections were originally supposed to have been held by November 2016 but were postponed when the government said it needed more time to register voters. Many analysts say further delays could rekindle violent anti-Kabila protests that resulted in dozens of deaths last year. Under a deal struck in December, a presidential election to replace Kabila, in power since 2001, must take place by the end of this year. Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional mandate on Dec. 19 to avoid a power vacuum in the absence of the vote.
The Democratic Republic of Congo said Monday it had indefinitely postponed voter registration in two provinces of its troubled central Kasai region after the brutal killing of an electoral official. On April 3, Philippe Iyidimbe, of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), “was decapitated by militias of chief Kamwina Nsapu in Ndekesha,” in central DRC, the CENI said in a statement. He had travelled to the Kasai capital, Tshikapa, to train technical staff, it added. Following Iyidimbe’s killing and the “destruction” of electoral materials and offices, “voter registration in Kasai-central and in Kasai, which should have started on April 30, has been delayed [indefinitely] due to insecurity” sparked by Nsapu’s rebellion, commission president Corneille Nangaa told AFP.
Congo’s government has said it will be too expensive to hold national elections in 2017, suggesting that an already-delayed vote will be pushed back even further. The country’s budget minister, Pierre Kangudia, said at a press conference in Kinshasa on Wednesday that it would be difficult to raise the funds purportedly needed to hold the vote. “Even if the outlook appears to be improving, it will be difficult to think that we can mobilize $1.8 billion this year,” said Kangudi, according to Radio Okapi, a U.N.-backed Congolese news source.
The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday welcomed a political agreement in Congo calling for President Joseph Kabila to leave power after an election by the end of the year and urged “swift implementation.” The council said in a presidential statement that it was encouraged “by the spirit of flexibility and compromise demonstrated by Congolese political leaders” in reaching the agreement. Council members stressed the importance of the government and its partners taking “all necessary steps to accelerate preparations for the elections without further delays, within the timeframe.”
Congo: Electoral commission shares budget troubles as cost estimated to soar 60% | International Business Times
The electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has said the nation may struggle to afford the cost of upcoming elections it believes would soar by nearly 60% to $1.8bn (£1.42bn). President Joseph Kabila has been in power since 2001 and served two full terms, as permitted by the Congolese constitution. Kabila is due to stand down in less than a fortnight, but he has been accused of manoeuvring to ensure he can remain in power indefinitely. Diplomats during a UN Security Council briefing on the DRC on 5 December warned of the urgent need to prevent a deadly conflict from blowing up if Kabila does not step down.