News / Africa

Electoral Commission Says DR Congo '99% Ready' For Election

People walk under a giant poster showing Democratic Republic of the Congo 's President and candidate for a second term Joseph Kabila, in Kinshasa, November 7, 2011.
People walk under a giant poster showing Democratic Republic of the Congo 's President and candidate for a second term Joseph Kabila, in Kinshasa, November 7, 2011.

Electoral officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say the country is 99 percent ready for Monday's presidential and legislative vote.  The leading opposition candidate on Sunday backed off plans to hold a rally in violation of a ban on political activity ahead of the vote.

Electoral commission president Daniel Ngoy-Mulunda says poll workers at more than 63,000 polling stations stand ready to help voters advance Congolese democracy.

On Monday, Ngoy-Mulunda says, the electoral commission invites the Congolese people to the polls in peace, serenity, and mutual respect. He is calling on all citizens to exercise their constitutional right to choose a president and members of the national assembly.

Despite concerns about delays in the distribution of electoral materials in a country the size of Western Europe, this vote will go ahead as scheduled.

Speaking to reporters Sunday evening, Ngoy-Mulunda said 99 percent of the country is ready for the vote, and by Monday morning he hopes it will be 100 percent.

Once vote counting is complete, each party representative in each polling station will receive a copy of the vote totals before that document is scanned and sent electronically to electoral commission headquarters in Kinshasa to help prevent fraud.

There are more than 18,000 candidates for 500 seats in the national assembly. Ten men are running against incumbent president Joseph Kabila. And some are already claiming electoral fraud. Opposition candidate Vital Kamerhe showed reporters what he said were ballot papers already marked for President Kabila.

Ngoy-Mulunda says there is no evidence of fraud concerning the South-African-printed ballots. “We have called the government of South Africa to make an investigation. The government made the investigation. Today the ambassador announced, among other ambassadors, that that one is not true. Our papers we have some security features. The investigation done by the South African government is also their reputation. Because even myself, CENI president, I don't have a single ballot," he said.

The main opposition presidential candidate in this vote, Etienne Tshisekedi, backed off plans for a Sunday rally that would have violated a ban on electioneering on the so-called day of reflection before the vote.

He was blocked by riot police at Kinshasa's airport for more than ten hours Saturday and was unable to meet with supporters.

Tshisekedi told reporters early Sunday that he was going ahead with his rally despite the ban. But the long-time opposition leader appears to have been convinced to back off that plan by advisers who say they fear for his safety.

Small groups of riot police took up positions Sunday between Tshisekedi headquarters and the stadium where he announced the rally would be held. There were no large crowds of Tshisekedi supporters as there had been Saturday.

Polls open Monday at 6 am local time. Final results are expected December 5, one day before President Kabila's current mandate expires.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid