News / Africa

    Presidential Campaign in DR Congo Enters Final Week

    Supporters of Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and presidential candidate, wait for his arrival at Goma airport, November 14, 2011.
    Supporters of Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and presidential candidate, wait for his arrival at Goma airport, November 14, 2011.

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo, presidential campaigning is entering its final week with the incumbent leader facing 10 challengers, including a former prime minister.

    President Joseph Kabila's biggest challenger in this election is the long-time opposition leader and former prime minister Etienne Tshisekedi.

    The president came to power after the 2001 assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila, who led the rebellion against dictator Mobutu Sese Seko when the country was called Zaire.

    Joseph Kabila won re-election in a 2006 vote that was marred by violence following his second-round run-off against a former rebel leader. This time, President Kabila is facing the 78-year-old Tshisekedi, who both worked with and ran against Mobutu.

    Earlier this month, President Kabila's government shut down the private Radio Lisanga television station following a broadcast in which Tshisekedi declared himself president “appointed by the people” and called on supporters to free alleged political prisoners.

    In an interview with VOA's French Service, Tshisekedi said he “did not ask the people to take up weapons” but was instead calling for their “mobilization.”

    Tshisekedi says dictatorship has no place in a democracy and the world should know that democracy is now in Congo. He says his call on supporters to break colleagues out of prison does not compare to what he says are the large numbers of opposition supporters killed by the Kabila government.

    Campaigning in the eastern Kivu provinces, President Kabila promised to crush anyone who starts violence in a country where more than two million people died during civil wars that involved troops from Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

    President Kabila says his opponents are saying that if they do not win these elections, they will start fighting. The president says they can not fight. And if they do start a war, Kabila says the government will crush them.

    The United States, European Union and United Nations have expressed concern about electoral violence. The International Criminal Court says it will investigate election-related crimes as it is doing in Ivory Coast and Kenya.

    Congo's electoral commission says presidential and legislative voting is still on schedule for November 28, despite concerns by some electoral observers about the pace of distributing voting materials in a country the size of Western Europe.

    Opposition leader Tshisekedi says the contest must not be postponed.

    Realistic or not, Tshisekedi says the date of the election is obligatory and the electoral commission has no choice because President Kabila's mandate ends in December. If the government does not respect the date of the vote and fails to properly organize these elections, Tshisekedi says it will be fatal and risks, in his words, setting the nation on fire.

    There are 11 presidential candidates in the first vote since Congo's constitution was changed to eliminate a run-off election if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote. This time, whoever gets the most votes wins. More than 18,000 Congolese are standing for seats in parliament.

    The electoral commission says final results of the vote will be compiled December 5 and published December 6, which is the last day of President Kabila's current mandate.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora