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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid