The Carter Center, which has observed the run-up and aftermath of the DRC presidential elections, says it has found evidence – on both sides – of significant abuses of electoral procedures. These include ‘voting by exemption” and “omitted voters.” Nevertheless, the Carter Center says the elections were credible.
Colin Stewart is the co-director of the Carter Center office in the DRC. From Kinshasa, he spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua about the latest findings.
“We have found evidence of significant abuses, but that the overall impact wouldn’t conceivably change the results of the election. So, what we’re saying on the whole is that these elections were well run and were credible despite some problems,” he says.
The Carter Center observer adds, “The problems that we found go beyond the normal types of things that you would expect to see in a country that’s having its first elections. We actually found evidence of fairly widespread attempts to manipulate the results. What happened, however, was that this was done pretty much equally by both candidates.”
Asked whether the Carter Center findings will help bring calm after the elections, Stewart says, “One of our important objectives is to provide people with a credible analysis to say here’s our sense of the system, here are all the problems that we saw and here’s what we think is the ultimate impact of the problem. In this case, we don’t think that there’s any way to construe these different problems as making a difference in the results. Therefore, the elections and the results are credible.”