Thursday, July 27, 2006

Breaking News: DRC elections

It seems as though the Catholic church has given a very cautious backing to the electoral process, thus making it the last religious community to do so. Congo-Kinshasa: Vote Set for Sunday Despite Irregularities (Page 1 of 2): "On Thursday, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the DRC, Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, said despite 'many flaws', the population should go out on Sunday and vote 'massively'. He had threatened to call on voters to boycott and not recognise the results unless the electoral commission resolved the many irregularities.

Ambassadors and other international leaders in Kinshasa issued a joint statement on Monday, which, although strongly supporting the elections, also called on the electoral commission to 'respond quickly to criticisms or questions on alleged irregularities, each time they occur'.

One complaint has been that the commission has lost the names of at least 1.2 million out of the country's 25.7 million registered voters. The head of the commission, Apollinaire Malumalu, said the problem would not undermine the elections.

'Everyone with a voter card will still be able to vote even if their name is not on the list,' he said.

Each card contains a photo of the voter and a unique index number that can still be used as a cross-check, although there are reports of fake cards."
The Catholic Church counts 50%+ of the Congolese population (the largest Catholic communty in Africa), thus making it one the most influential, and certainly the most organized institution in the country. Its backing of the process is therefore crucial to the credibility of the polls.

Earlier in the day the Islamic and Protestan communities, as well as the non-denominational Christian "awakening" churches had already given their approval, and called on all Congolese people to vote massively.

Also, there was a big fire at the camp of Jean-Pierre Bemba's personal militia' military camp, in the back court of his private residence. I am sure you have already by now focused on the big fire. Not me. He is a rebel leader, it is to be expected. What jumped at me was "private militia". What will this "militia" do when he does not win the elections? This is not good, not good at all! And with the way we have seen them behave today, in a clash with the police that left a person dead... I am not very confident...

Congo kino liwa!


Black River Eagle said...

I guess that the Catholic Archbishop of the DR Congo, Laurent Monsengwo, received a phone call from the Vatican telling him to "chill out and get with the program". The Archbishop was in consulation last week with South Africa's Ambassador to the DRC, Sisa Ngombane, where he was re-assured that MONUC and the Electorial Commission had everything under control. Here is a link to the MONUC interview on July 21st with the South African ambassador:

Despite all of the irregularities and campaign violence in Kinshasa and shennanigans by former warlords, 9000 political candidates, and their supporters both inside and outside of the DRC, your people are going to vote this Sunday and I believe they are going to vote in BIG numbers all across the country with (hopefully) very little violence.

This is not only historic for the DR Congo (Zaire), this will be an incredible event for the entire region. The right to vote and the act of voting empowers people and helps your people regain their self-respect and self-confidence. Only 2 days to go so again Good Luck on Sunday from the many Congo Watchers around the world.

Think any of the frontrunners will be able to garner a majority of the vote, or will there be runoff election in September for the Presidency?

TheMalau said...

Well they will vote. I am not sure about the turnout in Kinshasa and Kasai... Well actually, people are realizing that they are voting for more than just a President, so let's wait and see.

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