Fresh DRC election crisis looms

2011-12-29 13:15

Kinshasa – Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential vote dispute seems to have fizzled out with minimal damage, but the country may have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire of a fresh crisis over legislative polls.

The widespread violence many feared when incumbent Joseph Kabila was declared the winner earlier this month of a fraud-tainted November 28 presidential vote never happened.

Incidents did occur but threats of mass protests by supporters of frustrated challenger Etienne Tshisekedi were contained and a wider flare-up averted.

However another election, for the fractious country's parliament, was held the same day and the results have yet to be released.

The CENI polling body last week announced it was suspending the publication of provisional results trickling in from across the vast nation to await the arrival of US and British experts meant to guarantee the tally's transparency.

"We have to work together to avoid the incomprehension" that prevailed when the first results for the controversial presidential poll were released, CENI vice chairman Jacques Djoli said.

It then lifted the suspension on Wednesday, and said the vote count would resume without the foreign experts, sending a dubious message.

Crisis

The sequence has added to the confusion among a population still baffled by the swearing-in ceremony Tshisekedi, who proclaimed himself the people's president after the vote, organised in his private home's backyard last week.

The fiery 79-year-old opposition leader had been prevented from staging a rival inauguration in Kinshasa's main stadium by police stopping his supporters in their tracks with tear gas.

"The authorities have contained the crisis born of the presidential election with discreet but effective repression," said an expert with the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank.

"The opposition didn't take its chance when it failed to produce hard evidence that massive fraud did indeed take place."

The international community expressed its displeasure over the conduct of the election and tallying by largely snubbing Kabila's inauguration, attended by only one other head of state: Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

Kinshasa's Western partners accepted the result, nonetheless, but while Kabila looked like burying any challenge to his legitimacy, the election crisis has lingered on through the equally contested legislative poll.

"It's exactly the same robbery as for the presidential vote," Tshisekedi's top aide Albert Moleka said. "The electoral process no longer has any credibility, nor does the CENI."

Results from only around 40 counting centres out of the country's 1 469 have been compiled, but the polling body is already being flooded with challenges from opposition candidates.

Technical assistance

Faced with the European Union's threat to turn off the aid tap if efforts were not made to improve the standard of the counting process, Kabila's regime invited foreign experts to provide "technical assistance".

"It's a little strange to invite experts only for the legislative polls. Both elections took place the same day in the same polling stations. They cannot be treated separately," Moleka argued.

But the British and US experts have yet to arrive, their mandate remains unclear and the legal deadline of January 13 to announce the results is closing in fast, with a lot of work still to be done to split the assembly's 500 seats between 19 000 candidates.

"If the experts really get involved and there are enough of them, we may be able to save the parliamentary election's results," said Thomas Luhaka, a lawmaker from the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo, the main opposition party in parliament.

"There could be a reshuffle of the political landscape," he predicted. "One scenario is that some parties in the ruling coalition could join us and form a new majority."

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  joseph kabila  |  etienne tshisekedi  |  drc  |  central africa  |  drc elections
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Nkandla: Zuma 'still looking for undue benefit'

President Jacob Zuma has told supporters at an election rally in Mpumalanga that he had not wrongfully benefited from the upgrade to his Nkandla home.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.