Sunday, July 30, 2006

DRC: Election day: Update 2

Voting begins in Congo elections | Top News |

"KINSHASA (Reuters) - Polling stations opened in Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday as the central African country held its first free multi-party elections in 40 years.

Polling started first in the east of the vast former Belgian colony due to a one-hour time difference with the west where the capital Kinshasa is situated."
Keep that link, as it will be developed further in the coming ours. I am so excited, and so are most of my family (some are indeed following the Tshisekedi order to abstain from the vote), and friends. The day is memorable, and Radio Okapi (which is temporarily down, but will be back up in a few minutes) is reporting a great turnout. I am quite heartened by that.

Also, The Salon suggest the excellent piece by Jeff Koinange and the team of CNN, who did Video interviews in english with the 4 main candidates, and gives a bit of a backgroud to all this shebang. This the only video I found in English, so it's kind of gold right now (just scroll down on the CNN page, you'll find a free video link).

Happy voting! Congo kino liwa! I leave you with the effects of illiteracy on my country: the ballots had to be supersized to include visible pictures of all the candidates, making them the size of a New York Times edition in some places like Kinshasa (photo).

1 comment:

Black River Eagle said...

In a word, watching news reports about this historic election in the heart of Africa was "magnificent". Congratulations Ali and congratulations to all the people of the DR Congo who voted in these elections in order to EXCERCISE YOUR RIGHT to CHOOSE your very own political leaders in a fair and open democratic process. O.K., at least it was an open process.

One thing that really impressed me as I watched various TV newscasts covering the election was the joy and dignity in people's faces as they stood in long lines, many having travelled great distances on foot to cast their ballots... and to cast those ballots in a spirit of Peace.

This day certainly has to be one of the happiest days in your entire life, as it must be for millions of your people. The Congo has truly come a long, long way from its troubled past. Now it is up to the elected politicians and appointed civic leaders to apply the lessons of good governance and place the country on the path of peace and prosperity.

Nochmal, a very big congratulations to the voters in the DR Congo and to all of those people who helped them get to this important crossroads in history!

P.S. Jeff Koinange was certainly on the job down in the DRC this month, wasn't he? Too bad CNNI and BBC World haven't devoted more airtime to stories about these historic elections and what it means for the continent of Africa.

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