Thursday, November 16, 2006

DRC: Presidential run-off results: Kabila wins

During this little hiatus, due to the - still current - vicissitudes of technology, the editor of The Salon (that would be me) had some time to examine the entire electoral process, and to review the various steps that it has taken - many of which were chronicled here. Later today, I will write a piece on that very process, so stay tuned.

In the mean time, the state agency in charge of organizing the elections, the Electoral commission (CEI), has declared incumbent President Joseph Kabila Kabange the winner of the run-off election that opposed him to current Vice President Jean Pierre Bemba Gombo.

The announcement which occurs 4 days before the announced deadline of November 19th, seems strangely like an angry response by CEI President Abbot Appolinaire Malu Malu, against accusations of fraud by VP Bemba's party, the Union for the Nation (UN - isn't that confusing?) in the past 3 days or so... More on this later today!


Fred said...

You're back! Looking forward to your take on the story so far, the present situation and the challenges ahead.

Anonymous said...

I'm so thrilled you're writing again! You have been very missed! Welcome back!


TheMalau said...

Thank you my friends. I am still working on my piece, and it will be here soon.

Kate said...

I don't think Malu Malu's intention was anger in announcing the results early. The UN was pushing him to do so in an effort to diffuse some of the building tension.

exMI said...

Of course Bemba has already said he won't accept the results of the election so how long before fighting starts again? (Or am I being way to cynical?)

Lorraine said...

Good to see that you are up and running again.

There is something that I find particularly perplexing with respect to the various analyses/discussion concerning the current situation and I am hoping that you will address it in your piece.

What about the 300+ people who were rounded up in KIN and "sent" to Katanga for "training"(and what does Katanga have to say about it?)

Doesn't the current DRC Constitution GUARANTEE the individual right to due process? This whole thing makes me think of the stories I heard about Mobutu rounding up the "troublesome" students at UNIKIN and shipping them off to military camp for "re-education". What does this action have to say about the respect for the Constitution and individual human rights?

Black River Eagle said...

Well, the inevitable has happened. Joseph Kabila Kabange has been democratically elected to head the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo. I think that millions of people in your home country deserve a big congratulations for carrying out a complex and delicate process with great dignity and in peace (except for a few hotspots like Kinshasa).

Now, the elected politicians need to get busy with governing the country, rebuilding infrastructure and schools and hospitals and creating job opportunities and cleaning up the corruption and quelling the violence and stuff.

JP Bemba needs to focus on building a democratic opposition to the present ruling party so that his coalition will do better in the next national elections in 2011. Kabila needs to lead by setting a good example of what democracy and justice is all about. He has said so himself in a recent interview on CNNI with Jeff Koinange. I'm backing Dr. Oscar Kashala for another run at the top job in 2011. You think we have a good chance at winning?

Good luck to your people in the DRC with getting democracy up and running "Congo style" and job well done to all the volunteers who helped with these historic and important elections.

P.S. The Congolese ex-pats in my neck of the woods are absolutely furious about Kabila's win, claiming fraud and that Kabila is not Congolese and what have you. They have access to the best news sources and qualified opinions and information technology available, and it don't mean squat.

Word on the (Congolese) street over here in Germany is that most of the voters in the eastern provinces cast their ballots under threats of severe violence or death if they did not vote for Joe Kabila. Have you heard similar rumours in the States? These are just rumours, aren't they?

Fleur d'Afrique said...

I think the results coming in earlier was expected. They wanted to surprise people and stop some from planning anything negative. To me, that was a good move. We know people in Kinshasa are champions in spontaneous troublemaking but this measure prevented some kind of large scale trouble. This was a good move.

I also think that if we're going to see big trouble, it isn't going to be now. Let's remember that some of the candidates have militias. I know when I was in Kinshasa there was some kind of paranoia because a rumor stating that Bemba's troups were in the outskirts of Kinshasa, ready to retaliate. If they're going to take action (and I hope they won't even consider that option!), they will do it when the observers and UN & euro troups will be gone.

@ BRE: concerning the rumos about voters in eastern Congo. I've also heard those rumors they were already circulating during the first round. I recently stumbled on the blog of a foreign expat (I think he's a pilot) listing all kinds of irregularities (i'll be back with the link, which I lost). I don't know how true all these allegations are, but people really think he manipulated his way in. Also note that more people voted in the east than the west despite the heavy rain. There are bits of info like that, many of them rumors but you know how it is ... anything to make Kabila look bad becomes turns into official truth. :(

And frankly people are waaay too passionate about this. Which is okay because it's major. But I think those of us who live outside have no idea how passionate they are back in Congo. Common sense is definately not trendy right now.

Black River Eagle said...

Good to see you back in action Fleur d'Afrique. The blog you were referencing probably belongs to Carl the Pilot, a very interesting and experienced bush pilot operating all over the Congo. He's a good friend of the author of 007 in Africa. Here is the URL to his blog "Because We're Here Boy, Nobody But Us..."

First you need to pray and work for Peace after these elections. Then you need to continue educating and supporting the Congolese electorate by keeping the channels for free speech and civic engagement open. In case you haven't noticed, the past few years have been a rennaissance for diverse and well-informed African voices being able to speakup, speakout, and engage with the rest of the world about all kinds of issues. Voices of the Congolese and from people who have lived and worked in the Congo are among some of the very best writers online today.

You guys (the Malau, Fleur d'Afrique, Mvemba, and many others) are making history Honey and to think that I lived to see this important phenomenon unfold from birth.

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