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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid