News / Africa

    Observers Question Integrity of DRC Vote

    Supporters of incumbent Joseph Kabila gather in front of the provincial National Union for the Congo Federalists (UNAFEC ) in the district of Lubumbashi,  December 10, 2011.
    Supporters of incumbent Joseph Kabila gather in front of the provincial National Union for the Congo Federalists (UNAFEC ) in the district of Lubumbashi, December 10, 2011.

    Electoral observers from the U.S.-based Carter Center say presidential results in the Democratic Republic of Congo were "mismanaged," compromising the integrity of a vote that gave President Joseph Kabila another five years in power. The leading opposition candidate is rejecting the poll.

    Results announced by Congo's electoral commission show the long-time opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi losing to President Joseph Kabila by more than three million votes.

    Electoral observers from the U.S.-based Carter Center are calling into question the integrity of that vote because of what they say were wide variations in the quality of vote counting.

    David Pottie, the associate director of the Carter Center democracy program, says President Kabila was widely expected to do well in the southern Katanga province.  What is unusual is how well he did there, receiving more than 90 percent of the vote in at least eight constituencies, where turn out at some polling stations was 100 percent, and not a single ballot was lost.

    "This coincidence of really these three factors stretches the rules of probability," he said. "It is just not going to occur naturally that every single registered voter will turn up.  That they are all healthy on election day.  They are all mobile or indeed that they will all vote in such perfect alignment for a single candidate."

    Pottie says Carter Center observers also saw what he calls "great amounts of confusion" at vote counting centers in the cities of Lubumbashi and Kinshasa.  Nationwide, results from more than 3,000 polling stations were lost, representing as many as 1.2 million voters.

    "These are not necessarily people who all would have gone to the polls, but it does show a really serious problem in the physical collection, the security of the sensitive ballot materials," he said. "And ultimately represents a disenfranchisement of those who did vote.  The question that almost always gets asked then is, Do these irregularities change the final results?"

    While Pottie says these results lack credibility, the Carter Center has not seen enough to determine whether the irregularities denied Mr. Tshisekedi the win.

    "The overall credibility of the results process really does get cast into doubt when one observers such a variety and systemic set of irregularities.  That does not mean, and we are not able to say at this point, whether that affects the finishing order of the candidates.  But it does really call into question, and should call into question, the integrity of this results process writ large," said Pottie.

    Mr. Tshisekedi is rejecting the vote results and has declared himself president, calling for the international community to step in to prevent what he says could be "another bloodbath on Congolese territory."

    President Kabila's information minister Lambert Mende, says Mr. Tshisekedi's self-proclamation as president violates the constitution and is creating a climate of fear in Congo.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora