Friday, April 07, 2006

Election Update

From Alertnet:
Reuters AlertNet - Congo pares presidential list to 32 candidates

"KINSHASA, April 6 (Reuters) - Electoral authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed President Joseph Kabila and former rebel chiefs among a list of 32 candidates for mid-year elections, but rejected 41 other hopefuls.

Registration closed on Sunday for Congo's first democratic elections in more than four decades with a list of more than 70 candidates.

But the National Electoral Commission announced late on Wednesday over half of them had failed to pay a required $50,000 deposit or in one case provide a criminal record.

Congo's Supreme Court has until April 19 to confirm the electoral authorities' list."
32 candidates... Okay I will dedicate a more detailed analysis on these new developments. In the mean time, it is now clear that a - small - EU force will be in the country during and after the elections, but their size make many - including me - that there are hidden motives for their presence...

SADC forces have also been called upon, as the DRC is a member of that economic community. The discussion on the DRC's defense needs, to secure the election, have shown how thread-bare the Congolese military has become. A cause for concern...

And then there is this, from this "Business Day" article:

THE decision of the Democratic Republic of Congo's main political party to boycott general elections may benefit President Joseph Kabila and deprive the electorate of a credible alternative to rule the country.

Former prime minister Etienne Tshisekedi's Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) said at the weekend it was withdrawing from the election, dealing a blow to observers already worried about the large number of presidential candidates and the continuing violence in eastern Congo.

By the time the registration of candidates in the 2006 election closed on Sunday, 72 candidates had put themselves forward for the presidency and more than 4000 for the 500 posts up for grabs in the legislative elections, said the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
More on this in my week-end analysis as well.

I know I am forgetting something, but for the life of me, I can't... of course! It would be nice to know who is running for President, right? Well you can find them here (PDF).

Everything is going towards somewhat acceptable elections, Why, then, do I have this gut feeling that there is a glitch somewhere, a ghost in the machine... something that doesn't fit? Am I just paranoid? I wonder...

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