As ordinary Congolese and observer missions continue to document reports of voting irregularities in last week’s national elections, FreeFair DRC joins other international groups in demanding that the DRC’s National Election Commission CENI immediately begin posting results from individual polling stations that can be independently checked by observers.
Electoral observers from the African Union, the European Union, and the U.S. based Carter Center have documented a number of irregularities during last week’s balloting in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The CENI has so far resisted opening its vote count to independent scrutiny. Stepped-up violence will surely be the result if the CENI continues to ignore transparency demands.
Meanwhile the Congolese government, citing unspecified security threats, shut down SMS service in the country on Sunday, further hindering efforts by Congolese poll-watchers to report instances of irregularities in the vote-counting process. This action is unlikely to curb civil unrest; indeed, it will likely have the opposite effect.
Herman Nzeza FreeFair DRC’s representative Kinshasa, noted that CENI has already lost the faith of the major rival presidential candidates by publishing incomplete, unverified election results. As a result, presidential candidates Etienne Tshisekedi and Vital Kamerhe said CENI was “Psychologically preparing the population for fraud” by issuing incomplete results without investigating widespread allegations of improprieties in the balloting process.
“The time has come for CENI to operate with utmost integrity and transparency,” said Mr. Nzeza. “I fear bloodshed will be the price we Congolese will pay if CENI offers anything less.”
FreeFair DRC has been closely tracking reported election incidents, fraud and violence. You can find a map of the reported incidents here: http://freefairdrc.com/en/latest-news/blog-posts/273-election-day-incident-map
A full list of reported incidents can be found at: http://freefairdrc.com/en/reports