Election Universe

10 focus points from the DRC’s elections

10 focus points from the DRC’s elections
March 26 2019, 16:47
  1. The Democratic Republic of Congo conducted its highly awaited general elections on December 30, 2018.
  2. The elections were expected to restore peace and stability as well as creating hope for the future given the country has had a fair share of turbulence and violence in the past electoral processes.
  3. Kabila picked on former interior minister, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary to vie on behalf of the ruling coalition. The former president’s choice ended many years of uncertainty as to whether Kabila would abolish presidential term limits and stay in power indeterminately.
  4. The DRC’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced provisional results on 10 January, more than a week after the elections were held.
  5. The African Union initially called for a recount, but then accepted the verdict from the DRC’s constitutional court on 20 January.
  6. A key opposition leader, Félix Tshisekedi (Coalition for Change, CACH) was declared the winner, with 38.6% of the vote, ahead of another opposition challenger, Martin Fayulu of Lamuka (34.8%). Ramazani Shadary came in third place (23.8%).
  7. The election was first-past-the-post with a single round of voting.
  8. Demonstrations and strikes occurred across the country since Tshisekedi was sworn in as president on January 24. Leaked data from CENI and the Catholic Church observation mission suggested that the other opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, won about 60 percent of the vote. Fayulu’s supporters from a broad array of political parties began protests in many cities across Congo.
  9. “Many African and western countries, wary that a dispute could reignite unrest in the volatile central African country, have recognized Tshisekedi after Congo’s highest court dismissed Fayulu’s fraud complaints,” reported The Guardian.
  10. In a controversial announcement, the President-elect Felix Tshisekedi recently said his party is going into a coalition government with the former President Joseph Kabila after he failed to garner enough support in Parliament to unilaterally form a government.

Despite the escalating post-election violence, the election integrity evaluation continues in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The frail country together with the international community has high hopes that the retrogressive trend might change soon enough for the best of its population.