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.
… A South Korea firm called Miru Systems Co Ltd is providing the machines for the December 23 poll, which also combines legislative and local elections.
The DRC’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) showed off the device to reporters on February 21.
It said it would be impossible to stage elections on schedule without electronic machines. A country nearly four times the size of France, struggling with decrepit roads and other infrastructure, the DRC faces huge logistical challenges in setting up polling stations and counting ballots.