The African Union on Thursday called on Democratic Republic of Congo to suspend the release of the final results of its disputed presidential election due to its doubts over the provisional results. The rare move from the group injects fresh uncertainty into the post-election process, which was meant to usher in the country’s first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence, but has been mired in controversy since the Dec. 30 vote. The final tally is scheduled to be released by the election commission once the constitutional court has ruled on challenges to the provisional results on Friday, but the union called for this to be postponed following a meeting in Addis Ababa.
North Carolina Republicans ratcheted up their drive to put Mark Harris in Congress on Tuesday, questioning “the entire legitimacy” of a state investigation into allegations of election fraud in the 9th Congressional District. North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes accused elections officials of “one stalling pattern after another” in a meeting with reporters in Charlotte. “When there (isn’t) evidence that irregularities would change the outcome of the election, Mark Harris should be certified,” Hayes said. “If they had discovered a shred of evidence, they would have made it public.” State law, however, allows for the board to call for a new election if “Irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness.” The McCready campaign, in a legal brief filed Monday in Wake County Superior Court, called that finding “an inevitable conclusion” to the case.
Anti-corruption group Transparency International said on Tuesday it found “irregularities” in 47 of 50 constituencies it surveyed during last month’s general election in Bangladesh, which was marred by allegations of vote rigging. The poll that gave Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina a third straight term was undermined by ballot stuffing, voter intimidation and the occupation of polling booths among other malpractices, the group’s Bangladesh chapter said. The government rejected the report, saying the group had “lost its neutrality” and should be investigated for any “secret link” to the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). In its report, Transparency International said the BNP-led opposition could not effectively campaign for votes, opposition workers were threatened by government agencies, and the Election Commission could not ensure a level-playing field for all parties.
Martin Fayulu was the clear winner of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential elections last month, a Financial Times analysis of two separate collections of voting data shows, contradicting claims from authorities that rival contender Felix Tshisekedi had won the historic vote. The analysis points to huge fraud in the first change of power since Joseph Kabila took over the presidency of the mineral-rich central African nation almost 18 years ago. It is likely to embolden critics of Mr Kabila who suspect the Congolese leader is seeking to cling on to power through a deal with Mr Tshisekedi. According to a trove of election data seen by the FT and representing 86 per cent of total votes cast across the country, Mr Fayulu won 59.4 per cent of the vote. Rival opposition candidate Mr Tshisekedi, who was declared the surprise winner last week, finished second with 19 per cent, according to this set of data.
North Carolina: House Administration Democrats keeping close eye on North Carolina election | Politico
The top Democrat on the House Administration Committee is closely monitoring the ongoing investigation in North Carolina’s contested 9th Congressional District, advising the state elections board to “preserve and protect” all of the evidence it has gathered. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chair of the Administration Committee, raised the possibility that her panel could intervene to determine “the rightful claimant to the seat” in North Carolina. After election night, Republican Mark Harris held a 905-vote lead over Democrat Dan McCready in the vote count — but the election board subsequently refused to certify the results, citing election fraud allegations against a contractor for Harris’ campaign and questions of ballot irregularities. In a letter to the state election board sent Friday evening, Lofgren also pointed out that a “certificate is not ultimately determinative of the House’s course of action.”
A Superior Court judge in North Carolina has set a hearing in a lawsuit filed by Republican candidate Mark Harris asking the court to force the State Board of Elections to certify the results of the state’s 9th Congressional District election — before the board completes its investigation into potential fraud in the race. The hearing is set for January 22. There is still no clear resolution to the controversy over the results in North Carolina’s 9th District more than two months after Election Day. Harris leads the race by 905 votes over Democrat Dan McCready, but there are serious questions surrounding an absentee ballot operation led by a political consultant he hired.
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition leader Martin Fayulu was a clear winner in the central African nation’s December 19 polls, according to data obtained by the Financial Times. An FT analysis of two separate collections of data shows that Fayulu won the vote by at least 59.4% while president elect Felix Tshisekedi obtained 19% of the votes. The analysis points to huge fraud in the first change of power since outgoing President Joseph Kabila took over from his late father in 2001. According to the report, the election data is likely to embolden Kabila’s critics who have accused him of seeking to cling on to power through a deal with Tshisekedi.
North Carolina: Election board investigated GOP operative at center of fraud probe as far back as 2010: report | The Hill
The man at the center of election fraud allegations in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District was once investigated over allegations that he paid voters to fill out ballots, a former election board investigator says. Marshall Tutor, a former investigator for North Carolina’s Board of Elections, told The Associated Press that the board investigated Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. in 2010. The probe was opened following accusations that Dowless was part of a group paying people to vote in the manner the group directed. Tutor told the AP that the 2010 investigation didn’t result in criminal charges against Dowless because there wasn’t a strong enough case against him. “Dowless was throwing a lot of money around,” Tutor said. “There was no paper trail. Witnesses refused to give sworn statements or testify in court. No one was going to admit they were paid $5 to vote. But where there’s that much smoke, there was fire.”
Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission met all night and into Wednesday morning ahead of an announcement of results from the presidential election that could come later in the day. Riot police were deployed in front of the commission headquarters in the capital Kinshasa and along the city’s main boulevard, as Congo braced for possible violence amid accusations of vote fraud and suspicions that the government was negotiating a power-sharing deal with one opposition candidate. The Dec. 30 poll was meant to lead to the vast Central African country’s first democratic transfer of power in its 59 years of independence, but a disputed result could trigger the kind of violence that erupted after the 2006 and 2011 elections and destabilize Congo’s volatile eastern borderlands. The electoral commission (CENI) announced on Tuesday evening that it had initiated “a series of evaluation meetings and deliberations, at the end of which it will proceed to the publication of provisional results from the presidential election”.
On Dec. 30, 2018, Bangladesh held its 11th national election since becoming independent in 1971. The questionable results ended in a sweeping victory for the ruling Awami League party of Sheikh Hasina. The party’s coalition secured 288 out of a possible 300 seats in Parliament, ostensibly winning more than 90 percent of the popular vote. The coalition of the principal opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, won a mere seven seats. The results ensured a third term in office for the Awami League. However, almost immediately after the results were announced, a host of foreign and domestic analysts pointed out that the election was far from free or fair. Their misgivings were warranted. At least 17 people were killed in election-related violence, many others were injured, and there were widespread allegations of voter intimidation.