Election ballots in the Democratic Republic of the Congo can look more like the weekend edition of a newspaper than the single folded sheet of paper common the United States. Congolese electoral laws allow a nearly unlimited number of candidates to run for parliament. In the coming election, now pushed to 2019, there may be as many as 28,000 candidates, each one with their name and photo printed in a ballot. The expense and logistical difficulties of printing and distributing 45 million of these massive ballots are nearly insurmountable. After they’re printed, ballots must be trucked or flown to 126,000 polling stations around the country. The electoral commission has yet to acquire the necessary funds, and the voter registry isn’t complete. Or at least, these are some of the official reasons given for why Congo will not be holding elections for another year and a half, according to a source familiar with the election process who requested not to be named.
Articles about voting issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The election to pick DR Congo’s next president will not happen before early 2019, the electoral commission said Wednesday, a delay that raises fresh security worries in the vast African nation. Polls were due this year under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding fresh political bloodshed after President Joseph Kabila refused to step down when his second mandate ended in December. But the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) said Wednesday it would need another 504 days to prepare for the vote after the completion of an electoral census, which is far from accomplished in the restive Kasai region. The delay could be reduced “if we accept to use voting machines and if we change the electoral law,” a commission spokesman told AFP.
The U.N. Security Council urged Congo’s government on Wednesday to swiftly implement an agreement to hold presidential elections by the end of the year, warning that failure to do so will increase the risk of insecurity and instability in the country and the region. The head of Congo’s electoral commission announced July 7 that it would not be possible to organize a presidential ballot by the Dec. 31 deadline. Congo law bars President Joseph Kabila from seeking another term but allows him to remain in power until another election can be held. A presidential statement approved by all 15 council nations insists that the deadline be kept and urges key players “to organize peaceful, credible, inclusive and timely elections” leading to a peaceful transfer of power.
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.
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.