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.Full Article: DRC opposition set demands for December poll | News24.
Articles about voting issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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.Full Article: Voting machines raise worries in Congo ahead of elections - ABC News.
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.Full Article: New Voting System Vulnerabilities in Congo - Center for Democracy & TechnologyCenter for Democracy & Technology.
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.Full Article: Congo Election This Year Is Only Solution, Ruling Coalition Says - Bloomberg.
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.Full Article: Violence is roiling the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some say it's a strategy to keep the president in power.
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.Full Article: DR Congo opposition takes swing at election organisers - Daily Monitor.
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.Full Article: S Korea distances itself from firm assisting DRC vote | News24.
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.Full Article: Unresolved Issues Overshadow Congo's Vital December Poll.
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.”Full Article: Congo opposition groups unite at meeting in South Africa - The Washington Post.
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.Full Article: DRC pushes ahead with electronic voting despite criticism - Daily Nation.
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.”Full Article: US tells DR Congo to scrap electronic voting | The Citizen.
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.Full Article: No December election without voting machines: DRCongo poll chief | AFP.com.
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.Full Article: DRC gets high tech voting machines for long delayed polls.
The opposition in Democratic Republic of Congo said Wednesday it had garnered enough signatures to challenge a new electoral reform, which it says is buttressing the ruling party of President Joseph Kabila. Opposition spokesman Christophe Lutundula said the reform “automatically” banned certain hopefuls from running against Kabila in the next election, scheduled for December 23, 2018. The opposition says the law automatically excludes certain candidates by setting a minimum threshold of the share of the national vote that a candidate must win in order to obtain a seat. They also dispute the use of voting machines in ballot stations and the high deposit that candidates must pay, equivalent to several hundred dollars.Full Article: DRC opposition plans court challenge to electoral reforms — World — The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News.
The European Union yesterday (11 December) warned Democratic Republic of Congo it would cut off help to hold elections next year if the authorities failed to end “harassment” of the opposition and civil society. In a statement, the 28-nation bloc said it was “critical” for the Kinshasa government to uphold the timetable of the much-delayed elections. Elections were scheduled to be held by the end of 2017, under a political deal with the opposition aimed at avoiding bloodshed.Full Article: EU warns DR Congo of election funding risk over ‘harassment’ – EURACTIV.com.
Democratic Republic of Congo has said elections to replace President Joseph Kabila will take place by December 2018, a year later than scheduled. Following is an explanation why the decision is so important for DRC’s political crisis: A mineral-rich country a quarter the size of Europe, but mired in poverty and corruption, scarred by ethnic divisions and fighting in its east, DRC is one of Africa’s most volatile nations. The present crisis brewed after Kabila refused to step down last December on the expiry of his second and final term in office. The 46-year-old has been president since 2001, taking over from assassinated father, Laurent.Full Article: DRC vote date: What's at stake? | News24.
Congo’s electoral commission announced on Sunday that long-awaited presidential elections to replace President Joseph Kabila would take place on December 23, 2018. Around 43 million voters have been registered for the vote so far, Corneille Nangaa told a news conference in Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa. The election will be held on December 23, 2018, with the results to be published on January 9, 2019, and the president to be sworn in on January 13, another official from the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), Jean Pierre Kalamba, told the same news conference.Full Article: Congo sets presidential election for December 2018.
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.Full Article: How Ballots Are Being Used to Delay the Congolese Election | Foreign Policy.
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.Full Article: No DR Congo presidential poll before 2019 | The Citizen.
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.Full Article: UN urges Congo to hold elections by Dec. 31 deadline - Business Insider.