News / Africa

Electoral Officials Say DRC Ready for Elections

Congolese National Independent Electoral Commission workers wait to load planes and helicopters with election related equipment and ballots at Kinshasa Airport in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, November, 25, 2011. election related equipment
Congolese National Independent Electoral Commission workers wait to load planes and helicopters with election related equipment and ballots at Kinshasa Airport in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, November, 25, 2011. election related equipment

Electoral officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say they are ready for Monday's presidential and legislative voting in a country the size of Western Europe with more than 63,000 polling stations.

The Independent National Electoral Commission says all voting materials have been distributed to regional headquarters and will be delivered to individual polling places before the start of voting Monday morning.

Commission Vice President Jacques Djoli Eseng'Ekeli says training for poll workers is complete and everything is ready for the vote on the 28. He says ballots and ballot boxes will be delivered by helicopter in more remote areas.

Once vote counting is complete, Eseng'Ekeli says each party representative in each polling place 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 people running for 500 seats in the national assembly. Ten candidates are challenging President Joseph Kabila.

Most political observers believe Kabila will win re-election, in part because much of the opposition vote will be split between three candidates. There is no second round of balloting, so whoever gets the most votes Monday wins.

Former rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba is calling on Kabila opponents to unite behind a single candidate. Bemba lost a violence-riddled run-off vote against Mr. Kabila five years ago, and his party holds the most opposition seats in parliament.

But he is not running this time because he is on trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Thomas Luhaka is the secretary general of Bemba's party.

Reading Bemba's statement, Luhaka says it is not yet too late to save the country if the Congolese people, in unanimity, choose a single candidate who would have the best chance of changing the country.

In these last days of campaigning, it might be too late for the leading opposition candidates - Etienne Tshisekedi, Vital Kamerhe and Leon Kengo wa Dondo - to forge a united front against the president, who is officially running as an independent candidate with ruling-party support.

Kabila Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito says the president deserves a second term because he is leading a fight against neo-colonialism.

Prime Minister Muzito says President Kabila's election in 2006 began the rise of the country out of oppression and exploitation by bringing about economic stability and the creation of an army that serves the Congolese people instead of attacking them.

President Kabila came to power in 2001 following the assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila, who led the rebellion against the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko when this country was called Zaire.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs