PICS: Thousands rally in DRC against use of voting machines

2018-10-26 20:17
Members of the citizen movement LUCHA (Lutte pour le Changement - Struggle for Change) hold placards reading 'No to fictitious voters' during a demonstration against the electoral process scheduled for the December elections in fear of fraud on Lumumba Boulevard, east of Kinshasa, DRC. (AFP)

Members of the citizen movement LUCHA (Lutte pour le Changement - Struggle for Change) hold placards reading 'No to fictitious voters' during a demonstration against the electoral process scheduled for the December elections in fear of fraud on Lumumba Boulevard, east of Kinshasa, DRC. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Thousands of opposition supporters rallied on Friday across Democratic Republic of Congo seeking the withdrawal of electronic voting machines in a long-delayed election due at the end of December, saying they would be misused to rig the results.

The regime of President Joseph Kabila in a rare gesture authorised the protest but AFP correspondents said security forces were deployed in strength in Kinshasa, the key eastern cities of Goma and Bukavu and Bunia in the northeast.

Unlike deadly protest marches in the past which have seen security forces firing tear gas and live bullets, Friday's rallies ended without incident.

Thousands marched in central Kinshasa shouting "We will fight to the death", and "Voting machine equals cheating machine," an AFP journalist said.

"It's a show of force by the Congolese people who don't want these voting machines ... and a parody of an election," said Vital Kamerhe, a presidential candidate in the December 23 vote.

Former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba and regional baron Moise Katumbi have been barred from standing for the top job in a move that raised howls of protest from their powerful blocs of supporters.

Bemba had asked people to rally in droves to protest against "the greatest electoral fraud ever with electronic machines that have not been tested anywhere in the world."

Katumbi meanwhile in a video exhorted his supporters to "stage a massive march to say no to the electronic machines and no to corruption."

However the main opposition The Union for Democracy and Social Progress party, whose leader Felix Tshisekedi is running for president, did not participate in Friday's march.

The opposition claims the South Korean machines will be used for massive fraud in the presidential, parliamentary and provincial polls.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has never seen a peaceful transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

Presidential candidate Martin Fayulu (C) in the De

                                     (File, AFP) 

Kabila, 47, has been in power since 2001. His second and final elected term in office ended nearly two years ago, but he stayed on thanks to a caretaker clause in the constitution.

 'Objective zero deaths' 

Kabila last month promised at the United Nations the country would hold a credible ballot. But the months before he said he would step aside were marred by brutally repressed protests.

Critics worry Kabila is trying to make sure his favoured successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a hardline former interior minister, faces no serious challenger.

DRC protests

                                      (File,AFP)

The governor of Kinshasa authorised Friday's rally after a meeting with organisers who agreed that it would not end in the posh Gombe district, where many government buildings, diplomatic missions and big businesses are located.

Kinshasa police chief Sylvano Kasongo had called for an orderly march with "no bloodbath and the objective of zero deaths".

After talks in Johannesburg, delegates from the fragmented opposition announced that they would appoint a joint candidate by November 15.

The electoral commission in January put the number of potential voters at more than 46 million, according to the International Crisis Group.

However, Friday's marchers also called on the commission to strike off more than 10 million names from the electoral roll because they were registered without digital fingerprints.

DRC

                                         (File,AFP)

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

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.