DR Congo rejects election rerun demands, while Tshisekedi leads

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s government rebuffed opposition calls for a redo of contentious elections amid widespread concerns flagged by observer missions. Despite provisional results showing President Felix Tshisekedi in a leading position, opponents seek nullification, citing broad issues with the voting process.

Tshisekedi, president of DR Congo
Photo courtesy of MONUSCO Photos

Dec. 20’s general election outcome, favoring Tshisekedi, faces scrutiny as his rivals press for annulment due to alleged rollout and tabulation faults. The brewing dispute exacerbates Congo’s challenges, compounded by existing security crises in eastern territories, a region pivotal in global cobalt and industrial mineral production.

An independent joint monitoring mission by the influential Catholic and Protestant churches in Congo highlighted significant concerns. Drawing from thousands of observer reports, it recorded 5,402 incidents, over 60% causing disruptions during polling.

The mission voiced apprehensions, citing “numerous irregularities” likely to compromise result integrity. Specifically, it questioned the legality of the CENI’s decision to extend voting past Dec. 20, noting that voting continued until Dec. 27 in some areas.

Moise Katumbi’s camp, a prominent challenger to Tshisekedi, dismissed legal recourse, alleging state institutions’ bias in favor of the president—a claim rejected by the CENI. Despite opposition calls for a rerun, government spokesperson Patrick Muyaya urged patience for the full result disclosure and legal contestation if required. He emphasized the government’s commitment to fair and transparent elections while dismissing threats of further protests.

As the CENI prepares to release additional provisional presidential results before the Dec. 31 deadline, the process faces growing criticism. Tshisekedi maintains a substantial lead, with roughly 76% of 12.5 million votes tallied, yet the overall voter turnout remains undisclosed.

Alongside election day grievances, the opposition and independent observers question the CENI’s procedural integrity in tabulating and disseminating results. Reports suggest mishandling of sensitive election materials and unauthorized electoral activities in various provinces, raising concerns about result credibility.

Symocel, a local civil society observer group, flagged these issues to the CENI, highlighting potential distortions in the election outcome. The organization’s coordinator, Luc Lutala, underscored problems both in the election’s execution and the vote count, reflecting broader concerns.

The CENCO-ECC mission, echoing worries over result accuracy, urged the CENI to publish results solely based on properly consolidated tallies from local centers, emphasizing the need for meticulous adherence to electoral procedures.

Share this news
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments