News / Africa

Tshisekedi Will Only Accept Credible Congo Vote, Says Party Official

Electoral commission workers tally ballots at a polling station in the Bandal commune, one day after the country went to the polls for presidential and parliamentary elections, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 29, 2011.
Electoral commission workers tally ballots at a polling station in the Bandal commune, one day after the country went to the polls for presidential and parliamentary elections, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 29, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Albert Moleka, the cabinet director of the party and spokesman for Mr. Tshisekedi,

  • Clottey interview with Pascal Kambale, the country director of the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa,

Peter Clottey

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a top official of main opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) says presidential candidate Etienne Tshisekedi will only accept the outcome of a transparent and credible general election.

Albert Moleka, the Cabinet director of the party and spokesman for Mr. Tshisekedi, said the poorly organized general election shows the Independent National Electoral Commission is not “ready to respect the people’s vote.”

“Mr. Tshisekedi was overwhelmed by the response of the Congolese population. What we saw on Monday was a kind of revolution,” said Moleka. “You can see the people transforming themselves into observers and even into witnesses. Everybody wanted to vote, but then they were confronted with the fraud and flaws that we [saw] on Monday.”

Both the African Union and the U.S.-based Carter Center poll observer missions urged presidential and legislative candidates to accept the results.

Moleka said Tshisekedi wants the electoral process to be completed before passing any judgment on the credibility of the vote.

“His position is that we should go until the end of this whole process even though there were many flaws and shortcomings that we pointed out,” said Moleka. “We need to go until the end to demonstrate that the awareness of the people can even overcome all the fraud that we have experienced.”

He also said there are “legal ways” to challenge the credibility of the outcome of the presidential and legislative vote.

Moleka said his party is disappointed that the polls were poorly organized but praised the voters for their conduct.

“According to the law the election is supposed to be organized in one day [November 28], but surprisingly, after the legal hours of the day, Mr. Mulunda [electoral chief] decided to extend indefinitely the voting,” said Moleka. “Even worse, we are seeing cargo planes flying mainly from Johannesburg to the Lubumbashi and Kinshasa airport[s] with voting materials, even now. So why are the planes still coming here?”

He called Tshisekedi a democrat who “will accept the result of the election that would be credible and transparent.”

Pascal Kambale, the country director of the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa, expressed concern about voter irregularities, describing the exercise as poorly administered. His monitoring group deployed about 5,000 observers to polling stations across the country.

“The elections were conducted in such a manner that indicated that the electoral commission was simply not ready, logistically,” said Kambale. “A lot of polling stations did not have ballot papers and some didn’t have the ballot papers on time. The most common complaints that we have from across the country was probably millions of voters did not get their names on the voter list.”

Kambale said some voters expressed concern that the voters’ lists were displayed at polling stations a day or in some cases the same day of the poll, which he said is against Congo’s electoral code. It stipulates that voters register should be displayed at least a month ahead of the election.

“So on this account and many other accounts, it looks like the electoral commission failed the population [and] the voters,” he said.

Kambale praised the public.

“It’s fair to say this was a victory of the people’s determination to make this election their election and to try to make the election as fair and as transparent as possible, because where it worked, it worked - not because of the commission’s failure but because of the people,” said Kambale.

The African Union and the Southern African Development Community welcomed the successful holding of the vote.

You May Like

Russia's 'V-Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

Critics say Soviet-style display of power, nationalism don't recognize tragic scars of warfare that still influence politics, fighting in Ukraine More

Tensions Simmer in Hong Kong in Lead Up to Vote

Many Hong Kong citizen say if the reform plan will be a step back for the pro-democracy movement if passed More

Multimedia Obama Calls for New Commitment to Help Minority Youths Succeed

President introduces My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, foundation supporting better education and job prospects 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.
Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalistsi
X
May 04, 2015 3:32 PM
Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Black Families Use Baltimore Case to Revisit 'Police Talk'

Following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody this month, VOA interviewed black families throughout the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore about how they discuss the case. Over and over, parents pointed to a crucial talk they say every black mother or father has with their children. Victoria Macchi has more on how this conversation is passed down through generations.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video First Surgical Glue Approved for Use Inside Body

While medical adhesives are becoming more common, none had been approved for use inside the body until now. Earlier this year, the first ever biodegradable surgical glue won that approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on the innovation and its journey from academia to market.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Study: One in Six Species Threatened with Extinction

Climate change is transforming the planet. Unless steps are taken to reduce global warming, scientists predict rising seas, stronger and more frequent storms, drought, fire and floods. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, a new study on species extinction underscores the need to take action to avoid the most catastrophic effects of rising temperatures.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Baltimore Riots Shed Light on City’s Troubled Past

National Guard troops took up positions Tuesday in Baltimore, Maryland, as authorities tried to restore order after rioting broke out a day earlier. It followed Monday's funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody earlier this month. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs