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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid