DR Congo election panel may delay provisional results

Ruben Fields
January 5, 2019

Democratic Republic of Congo's powerful Catholic Church said yesterday that it knew who had won the country's presidential elections and called on the authorities to quell a mounting storm about the outcome.

Barnabe Kikaya bin Karubi, a senior adviser to President Joseph Kabila, said internet and SMS services were cut to preserve public order after "fictitious results" began circulating on social media.

Trump sent a letter to congressional leaders noting that the first troops of the deployment had arrived in Gabon's capital of Libreville on Wednesday.

The result of the poll, which featured 21 candidates, is due to be announced on Sunday, although the DRC's electoral commission announced that this may be pushed back.

Elections held last Sunday will determine who succeeds President Joseph Kabila, at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country for almost 18 years.

Democratic Republic of Congo's government on Thursday (Jan 3) defended the credibility of last weekend's disorganised presidential election and its decision to cut Internet access to 80 million citizens in the aftermath.

Attempts by authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to crack down on dissent during tense vote counting could "backfire", the United Nations said Friday, warning it was "watching carefully" as events unfold.

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Voters in the DRC, which isn't adjacent to Gabon but is separated by the Republic of the Congo, went to the polls on December 30 to choose their next president.

"Those who enable a peaceful, democratic transfer of power out of respect for DRC's constitution and the results of this election will be hailed, while those responsible for undermining democratic institutions and processes, threatening the peace, security, or stability of DRC or benefiting from corruption ‎will be held accountable".

Elections to succeed him were delayed several times before they finally took place on 30 December.

Kabila's preferred successor, the former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, ran on the ruling party's ticket.

The first partial results were initially expected on Tuesday but CENI spokesman Jean-Pierre Kalamba said that they would not be ready until around Friday. According to reports, more than one million people were prevented from voting in opposition strongholds, after the electoral commission cancelled the polls there citing an outbreak of Ebola.

On Friday, the Congolese electoral commission accused the Catholic Church's conference of bishops (CENCO) of "preparing an insurrection", Reuters reported.

Libreville is on the Atlantic coast of Gabon, which borders the Republic of the Congo (RC) to the east. But opposition candidates Felix Tshisekedi and Martin Fayulu say there are widespread irregularities.

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