Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Monday, December 12, 2011

As criticism of election proliferates, time runs out for opposition

Joseph Kabila was proclaimed winner of the presidential elections on Friday, obtaining 49% of the votes. Etienne Tshisekedi was a distant second, with 32%.

As expected, many Congolese have rejected the results, setting tyres on fire in Kinshasa and launching isolated protests around the country. Tshisekedi has now announced a large opposition demonstration in Kinshasa and other cities for Tuesday, while the opposition UNC party will hold a protest today in Bukavu, focusing on both the election results and the killing of two students over the weekend.

It is not only some Congolese who find the results hard to believe - foreign observers have also expressed skepticism. The Atlanta-based Carter Center published a brief report on Saturday, saying the results "lack credibility." The European Union will be publishing a report today or tomorrow, reportedly with very similar conclusions.

What are the main problems with the vote?

Perhaps the most obvious flaw is the loss of ballots of between 3,000 and 4,000 polling stations around the country, including 2,000 from Kinshasa and all the results from the territory of Kiri in Bandundu. In the case of the lost Kinshasa votes, some foreign observers believe that these are the same polling stations that Ngoy Mulunda had wanted to invalidate earlier in the week, but was forced to set aside after protests from observers.

Then there are the suspicious turnout figures. In several districts, turnout was almost 100%, rates the Carter Center finds "impossibly high." This was the case in several territories of northern Katanga, Joseph Kabila's home turf (or, to be more precise, that of his father). The problem was not just the high turnout, but the fact that it coincided with almost 100% support for Kabila. In the territory of Malemba Nkulu, for example, turnout was 99,46%, with not a single one of the 266,866 votes going to anyone but the incumbent. In Kabongo territory, Kabila also received a perfect score (turnout was 91%), while in Manono, where Kabila received 99,98% of the vote, turnout was 100,14%.

While Tshisekedi received very high scores in the Kasais, as well, turnout there was much lower, around 50-60%. The national turnout was 58 percent.

Some observers have told me that one way of detecting suspicious turnout figures is to calculate how many voters cast their ballots in a polling station on election day, then multiplying by the number of minutes it takes them on average to cast a vote, taking into account that several people can vote at the same time. If the total is over 20 hours, it is likely that there was something wrong with polling in that station.

Another figure that raised eyebrows were registration numbers. In some rural parts of northern Katanga, the growth in registered voters since 2006 is more than double the national growth rates. In Manono, for example, the number of voters grew by 52% in five years, while in four other Katangan territories growth was over 38% in the same period. The national increase in voters between the two elections was 26%.

Finally, the process was flawed. Ballots were seen transported by private means - in several cases even by candidates - and in some cases ballot bags were opened and altered in violation of official procedures. The Carter Center suggested that in 15% of the compilation centers, security personnel could have influenced compilation; they also pointed out that some election official obstructed access for observers, including in the National Results Center in Kinshasa. In one flagrant case in the capital, the compilation center was closed and when it re-opened a large number of ballots had gone missing.

I should emphasize that none of the observers I have spoken with has weighed in on what he or she thinks the real results were. Tshisekedi would have to win 1,5 million votes and Kabila lose the same number for the final results to change.

What next? The opposition has until tomorrow to contest the results officially, or the Supreme Court may just confirm Kabila as the winner (at the moment of writing, I don't think the UDPS had done so). The opposition has little faith in the court, as in the run-up to elections a large number of new judges were appointed,  many of whom reportedly favorable to Kabila. If a suit is filed by tomorrow, the Supreme Court only has until Saturday to consider it before it has to announce a winner. That amount of time is clearly insufficient given the complexity of the results.

Time is hence of the essence. Several solutions have been bandied about in diplomatic circles, some of which involve the creation of an independent commission to audit the results and propose a solution. Who should be a member of the commission and to whom should it report? Not clear - the United Nations is very unlikely to take on this kind of role, given the politics in the Security Council. The southern African body SADC, which sent the largest observation mission, is seen by the opposition as pro-Kabila, and South African President Zuma has approved of the official tallies. Others have suggested that a mediator or special envoy should be appointed. However, Kofi Annan has reportedly already turned down an offer - other names that have come up are John Kufuor and Alpha Oumar Konare.

What could a possible solution look like to electoral disputes? Here, again, different solutions are being mulled over. The official line, taken by many diplomats, is that legal avenues should be pursued - i.e. the Supreme Court. However, as mentioned, the opposition does not find this credible. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon added that mediation efforts should also be considered, notably by the National Mediation Commission. But many members of this commission, named shortly before the elections, are also considered to be close to the presidency.

Some suggest that there only needs to be a re-tally of the results put together at the 169 compilation centers (CLCR). That, however, would not be able to come to grips with the kind of fraud listed above. Others have suggested a re-vote in selected areas with reported irregularities, a solution that would not address problems of the voter register, but could address many of the other irregularities. Another solution that I have heard of would be to hold another presidential vote, just between Kabila and Tshisekedi - this run-off ballot, however, would contravene the electoral law, which states that the presidential ballot is a one-round, plurality-wins vote.

The longer it takes to decide on a way forward, the more likely it is that the Supreme Court will declare Joseph Kabila winner and Tshisekedi's supporters will take their frustrations to the streets.

38 comments:

Gabriello Princip said...

or maybe it will end not with a bang, but with a whimper.

Aldwin said...

Thanks for an illuminating (but depressing) post.

I don't claim to know which candidate would make the better president, but it makes me very angry that we'll probably never know what the Congolese people thought about it.

Anonymous said...

as ususal, a very interesting, well informerd and rather balanced analysis. What would be very interesting to develop or to analyse is WHO helped kabila to fraud the elections: what country/countries and especially those in Africa and WHY. What are their interests to have kabila and his clique to remain in power. Of course, follow the money, nevertheless it would be helpfull if you can shed a light on this issues. Is the absence of any vigourous and clear reaction from europe/usa and monuc an indicatin that there might be an association between those in africa and them who want kabila to remain in power?
Anyway, as Aldwin says, it is rather very depressing.

Anonymous said...

I Am very annoyed with the international communities specially with Carter center.
At the beginning they have said that there were some irregularities however all candidates must respect the result given by CENI, after CENI's declaration they start pressing the red light.
Such Political tactics may fuel violence and give more confidence for the opposition to behave the evil way and create more blood shade.

SM
Goma

Anonymous said...

The congoles peoples are tired of your imperialist involvement in our country . The elections are over,and the winner is KABILA.your power sharing plan is nothing but a plan to weaken the Congoles government and to continue to destabilize our country.this is not going to happen ,we have been there with the 4 by 1 system and there is no going back. CHISEKEDI is a looser and he has no choice but to concede.

Risto Kupsala said...

The results from Bandundu are surprising compared to 2006 elections. In 2006 Antoine Gizenga received over 80% of the votes in the first round. In the second round Bemba receive 60% and Kabila 40%. Now in 2011 Kabila received 70% of the votes in the first and only round in Bandundu. When did he become so popular in Bandundu?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, Jason.

Clearly, it is probably best that the opposition mount a legal challenge to the results. First, because it does respect the rule of law (though the law isn't really clear what happens if a vote is ruled non-credible) and second because it is important for the Congolese to keep "testing", for lack of a better word, their institutions.

But, as with any suit, the question for the opposition here is their legal strategy.

The Supreme Court in the Congo, like in the US, has the power of judicial review. What that means, for those who don't know, is that it alone can decide that an act by the Legislature or the Executive does not conform with the constitution. At this point in the nation's history, there has been no "Marbury vs Madison"- or the Supreme Court has not ruled that any law or act is, indeed, unconstitutional as that famous case did in America in the 1800's.

Well, perhaps now is the time for it to try on this key power in a democratic system.


It would probably be more useful- both for the long term strengthening of the rule of law and this particular crisis- to find a few people who could not cast ballots or were a part of the polling centers who votes were thrown out to sue CENI for a breach of their rights as citizens.

So, in other-wards, have citizens sue CENI- not political parties via a class-action lawsuit (which is possible in the DRC). Should the opposition try this approach, the election becomes less about them and about the constitutional rights of these citizens.

This would then force a particularly challenging decision upon the Supreme Court. The Court would then have to rule whether their rights, and by extension those of every Congolese, were violated or not. The Court, upon making a ruling, would then need to decide how to ensure their rights are upheld. In the process, it would then set a precedent for deciding the course of action when this most basic right- the right to the franchise- is violated.

In my very humble opinion, I think this would be a much more strategic approach then to simply say "the court is stacked with Kabila loyalists". A major problem the opposition is grappling with is the belief, in international circles and those who support the ruling regime, that they do not respect the nation's flawed but critical institutions. This is, of-course, understandable but it is a PR problem for them.

Indeed, for the UDPS, which consistently claims it will reinstate the "rule of law", this is a moment to make that of-repeated slogan ring true.

The opposition, and the regime, are running the clock here. But if the former attempt a lawsuit that is, well, momentous and centered squarely on pressuring the Supreme Court to acknowledge, or not, the violation of citizen's rights with this election we may see a better Congo in the more holistic sense as a result.

And isn't that the motivating factor here?

Frank

Anonymous said...

@ SM and Anon 4:40,

If Kabila wins, let him win in all TRANSPARENCY.

I don't know whether you've seen these pictures, you'll have an idea how the people's voice is being "respected":

http://congodiaspora.forumdediscussions.com/t5028-selon-le-centre-carter-les-elections-n-etaient-pas-credibles

The International community's pro-Kabila bias does not come as a surprise to me, neither does Kabila's attempt to steal the election. What really disillusioned me was my earlier conviction that we would be treated to an electoral process of at least the same level as the 2006 ones, which though as imperfect as they were, were not as chaotic as the farce we witnessed few days ago.

I could anticipate that fraud and fraud attempts would be there (as CENI had something to hide, i.e. the fictitious voting stations, to deny the opposition access to its central server). But by at least the 2006 standards, Kabila's win would have been improbable despite the incumbency, his deep pockets and fraud on Election Day, PROVIDED all votes were counted and the tally announced as is. Not everybody believed, and I kept on repeating: despite the crowded field, this election would be a toss-up between J Kabila and E Tshisekedi, with the latter enjoying a much more favourable political terrain (Kabila's waning popularity in the east owing to the insecurity; the emergence of Kamerhe would dangerously split the Kabila vote; Bemba's votes would be transferred onto E.T. because voters in the West would vote against Kabila for exactly the sames reasons as the did in 2006; the massive return of Kasaiains to Katanga owing to the 2008 mining boom; the strong participation of Kasaians this time around; to name but these few factors). Your dislike of the man made you blind to that fact: Tshisekedi's win was largely foreseeable. (I know somewhere Jason knows the truth, who really won this thing but clearly he has his reasons not to tell. I respect his self-imposed reserve)

Now you're lambasting the Carter Center for calling the spade a spade, arguing that it had earlier called for the results to be accepted. Do you sincerely think that they had in mind ANY results or results that reflect the voice of the people?

Let's face the truth: Kofi Anan got it right, there's nothing more damaging to stability in a so-called post-conflict country than the loss of faith in democracy. It's not about Kabila or Tshisekedi, it's about democracy. If the people spoke, let's the choice of the majority be respected. PERIOD. Whether you like the winner or not is irrelevant in this exercise.

Bruno

Anonymous said...

Another quick one:

Were you not astounded by what I see as a protocol "incident" or impropriety last Friday when Past Ngoy Mulunda, flanked by his retinue of colleagues, announced the results? He gave the diplomats present in the attendance CDs of the results BEFORE he announced them to the Congolese nation.

Did you not feel insulted as Congolese?

Bruno

Anonymous said...

Sheer speculations and biased interpretations of facts . If I am not mistaken people were allowed, in certain instances, to cast their vote where they had not registered as voters. It is possible to have centres where the numbers that voted is higher than the number of registered voters and for turnouts to be up to 100% and even above. Unless there is an error somewhere, that Kabila got 100,14 % in Manono should not therefore be a mystery or a logical impossibility.
I am prepared to be convinced that ballots lost from 4000 polling stations out of 64 000 would have produced a different result.
A mismanaged and chaotic electoral process is no fraud. On the other hand it is disingenuous on the part of the Carter Centre and others to judge this process without taking into account the context of how things work in Congo and whether when they work it is by design or pure luck. Why should CENI be the only institution in the country whose performance should be above the average for everything/ everybody else?
People are also ignoring completely not only that Kabila is the incumbent with resources, influence at his disposal but also that his campaign was well funded and well organised and that he carried with him a lot of leaders of opinions throughout Congo including the 2 kasai provinces. Who can tell us the weight of the Moise katumbi factor in terms of increase in voter registration in Katanga province?
You say and I quote: “Some observers have told me that one way of detecting suspicious turnout figures is to calculate how many voters cast their ballots in a polling station on election day, then multiplying by the number of minutes it takes them on average to cast a vote, taking into account that several people can vote at the same time. If the total is over 20 hours, it is likely that there was something wrong with polling in that station.” IS THIS SCIENCE?

Anonymous said...

Well, this is very difficult moments but I hope they will look for solution both Kabila and Kisekedi. for one thing for sure Kabila may be willing to talk, Kisekedi should do the same for the sake of peace, both should know their lives are short no one of them will live for ever...just have a good name after you,specially Kisekedi should know better. WHERE IS MOBUTU SESE SEKO KUKU NGWENDU WAZABANGA? even though he had the longest name, fume ,power, army ,strong friends, name it all. Human, when are you gona learn ??.ITS ALL VANITY said a wise man.

Anonymous said...

"to judge this process without taking into account the context of how things work in Congo and whether when they work it is by design or pure luck". An electoral process must be prepared months, if not years, before. The Congolese government and CENI knew all the challenges before they undertook the responsability of running this process. It is not good enough to deploy electoral kits 2 days before the election...or not at all, unacceptable to communicate info about polling stations just before election day. Unless you wanted to take advantage of the chaos created for reasons only some people knew.

Anonymous said...

This is where a show of force should have been displayed in the past couple of years...not Kinshasa
http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2011/12/12/nord-kivu-les-combats-entre-rebelles-vident-les-villages-de-walikale-masisi/

Mwana Kin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mwana Kin said...

@ Jason,

Nice post. But, I do believe there is another elephant in the room in the form of number of "vote by derogation".
The total number is astounding. 3,562, 720.00 for all the country, about 20% of the total vote.
This total is almost three time the number of 2006, which was already bewildering.

For people who don't know, "vote by derogation" is a kind of "absentee vote" with a twist.
Vote by derogation is regulate by article 59 of the 2011 Congo electorate law.
It is a vote process for people like poll workers, election monitors, and for active duty military personal(including their family members),in temporary assigments away( the twist) for their regular polling juridiction. CENI is required to publish the "derogation liste" 15 days before the election date.
I don't think that the list was published as required by law.
I know that some people will argue that the number of vote by derogation published contains people who couldn't find their name in their polling station and were authorized to vote with what in U.S. is called provisional ballot. Some also will argue that number also contains people whose names were in the " listes des omis".
However, the electorate law is clear regarding what should be considered "vote par derogation" and who should vote in "liste of omission".
My guess is that unless detailed numbers by polling station are given and cross checked with the voters rolls, we will never know how this list was intentionally manipulated.
I am trying to reach friends in Kinshasa to get these numbers to no available.
I will publish these numbers once I finish my analysis.

Anonymous said...

The Congolese opposition and the Western election observers and activits appear to be out of touch with the Congolese population. Indications from across the country suggest that a majority of Congolese, including many who voted for the opposition, want to move on; they have no taste for some novel power-sharing/mediation-created government. Take a look at the comments on Radio Okapi to judge for yourself.
http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2011/12/12/presidentielle-rdc-les-resultats-provisoires-ne-sont-pas-conformes-la-verite-selon-le-cardinal-monsengwo/

and

http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2011/12/12/elections-rdc-les-proces-verbaux-de-plus-de-122-bureaux-de-vote-restent-introuvables-mbuji-mayi/

The message from Congolese masses seems to be: "Take your evidence of massive fraud to the Supreme Court or shut up". The Congolese can tell the difference between intentional fraud and logistical shotcomings or mistakes due to incompetence or lack of experience. The Western critics of the electoral process do not seem to grasp that difference.

Anonymous said...

Now I get it: there is somehow an international plot to prevent the people's choice i.e. J Kabila to carry out his popular mandate.... this is just pathetic.
I didn't know that access to the internet was so widespread that the Congolese masses could express their opinion on Radio Okapi....I guess we are all here to learn !!
You are talking about Western critics....what about the Congolese ones: the Catholic church, local NGOs ?
The Congolese opposition represents, based on the CENI results, just over 50% of the Congolese electorate, therefore the majority: don't they have the right to express peacefully their dissatisfaction with the way the whole process was run, in the courts or on the streets ?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:08 pm -
What is pathetic is to tear the Congo apart for an electoral dispute that, per the Carter Center's own words, will not change the "order of the candidates" (i.e., the outcome of the elections) in light of the huge gap between Tshisekedi and Kabila. A responsible challenger will dispute the elections if he/she knows that victory is still possible (a close election).

This election was not close. The Carter Center has admitted as much. Why then stir up passions in a country that is still recovering from painful wounds of two wars? Why not decry the deficiencies while at the same time accepting defeat?

Academics will have months and years to parse through the numbers to find the actual extent of the alleged fraud and irregularities. But to hold the country on edge for an academic dispute is not responsible.

Al Gore in 2000 had a better case than Tshisekedi to self-proclaim POTUS. For the good of the country, he obviously chose the responsible course.

A democracy is not built over one election. People should take a longer view of what is happening in the Congo and not a short-sighted view that sees the future of the country only through its current political class. It may be hard for some to distance themselves from their emotions and see things as they are. I'm glad that's not the problem I have. I supported Kamhere during these elections. I'm disappointed he under-performed. Then again, it's not the end of the earth.

Anonymous said...

The Carter Centre qualified its assessment with by saying "not necessarily affect the order...."; which is different from saying "will not affect the order...." as the latter is an assertion.
I would like to know why this election wasn't close:
1. Because J Kabila is hugely popular in the DRC, then fine he is the elected president
2. Because he organised a massive fraud to stay in power, then we have a problem
You are forgetting that the DRC is "on edge" because of a poorly organised and executed electoral process. Those who feel cheated have the right to appeal to the courts for instance, when they are independent and impartial bodies
I agree "a democracy is not built over one election". I am just weary about J Kabila obvious lack of respect for rules and unwillingness to build decent institutions that serve Congolese and not just his power. What if he repeats the same trick in 2016, in 2021, in 2026.... he will only be 56 year old by then...but then again democracy is not built over a few elections !!

Anonymous said...

If Kabila weariness is the issue, then election deficiencies are just an excuse for going after him. Your weariness would not have been cured by a spot-clean election, because you just don't think Kabila should govern the Congo under any circumstances. Even then, if Kabila was the winner, you would still question his aptitudes to govern the country. Weariness about Kabila is a fair position to hold, but should not be ground for calling for a negotiated government or overthrowing the elected officials.

Anonymous said...

Weariness is not the issue here, and it will be cleared with a spotclean election as I would run out of arguments. It is FRAUD.
Although I personally despise J Kabila for many reasons, I will never question the people's choice: I might not like it but I will accept it. Just like some people criticised GW Bush and accepted he was the US president.
Congolese should find a peaceful to the problems ahead.
You are the one who mentions a negotiated government or overthrowing elected officials. The issue, to me, is a simple one: who was really elected and how fair was the process ?
Anything else is just a sideshow.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Let those who allege massive fraud bring out the evidence. They should not count on the CENI to prove the negative (i.e., that there was no fraud). I'm glad Kamhere has introduced his challenge at the Supreme Court.

But, as we know, no court in the world worth its name will invalidate national elections due to isolated cases of fraud or irregularities. A court will order a recount or even a re-run of elections in those specific jurisdictions, but will not invalidate national elections. Even for ordering a recount or re-rerun of elections, the court must believe that the outcome of the elections is in balance. The burden of proof on electoral matters is VERY high.

Anonymous said...

Irrespective of the burden of proof, I just hope supreme court judges commitment is first and foremost to the law and that they do not take their orders from the president and his allies. I only wish the DRC had independent, impartial,strong institutions to enhance democracy....we wouldn't be in the mess we are right now.

Anonymous said...

What do you say about the statement from the Archibishop of Kinshasa? Is he a pro-Tshisekedi? The catholic church fielded 30.000 observers, do not you think that we can take hid of what the catholic church says? CENI is yet to produce the minutes of polling stations. One understands that the dumping ground of FIKIN wast just a WMD (weapon of masses distraction). How can one seriously pretend to complie documents which are scattered all over the place? The results were being cooked somewhere else following a narrative which Kabila hinted in his post-election interview; the so-called divide between East and West.

Anonymous said...

The whole situation has gone from a tragedy to a farce: while archbishop Monsengwo (catholic) of Kinshasa says CENI results are not in conformity with truth and justice, Monsignor Marini Bodho(protestant) claims that results are in conformity with truth and justice. Every one is aligning themselves to a particular camp without neecessarily addressing the core issue.

Anonymous said...

Another interesting point higlighted by Archbishop Monsengwo: E Tshisekedi tally was on follows in the corresponding dates
6th of December: 5.927.728 votes
9th of December: 5.863.745 votes
He lost 64 000 votes although an additional 34 000 additional polling stations were compiled....ko kamwa !! as journalists in the daily news bulletin "Journal en Lingala Facile" often say.

Anonymous said...

The core issue is on what elements are we basing our judgement. As far as I aware CENI never presented the PV of polling stations for the simple reason that they do not match with the results which they have cooked. If you read the Archibishop's letter he reveals the inconsistency in CENI's numbers. For instance, Tshisekedi's scores decrease from December 6 to December 9. Moreover, Marini did not field even half of the number of observers fielded by the Catholic church. Only the PV will settle this dispute, unfortunately CENI is decided to avoid this element

Anonymous said...

SOLUTIONS FOR CONGO
(1)DIVIDS THE COUTRY INTO 4 COUNTRIES. ITS TOO BIG FOR THE CONGOLESE TO HANDLE,OR DEMOCRANCY TO TAKE PLACE IN THE CONGO.
(2) NEED A TRONG MAN LIKE mobutu (ANAZA DICTETA) TO HANDLE THE BIG CONGO. IF NOT CONGO WILL ALWAYS HAVE WARS.

Anonymous said...

"Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually."
Hi, Jason by the time i am writting this letter the Opposition made a formal appel to the supreme court through Vital Kamehere im mean Tshisekedi et others. Vital Kamehere said this from the court"Il n'y a que les imbéciles qui ne changent pas d'avis." in English" only idiots cannot change their mind" this evening 12/12/2011. That's good then protesting on the street to ovoid killing by kabila soldier as we all saw these horribles videos on 26 of november 2011. I personaly appreciated the way The cardinal Mosengwo Pasinya press conference, at congomikili website explain pretty clearly some of irregularities reported detected from Ceni website and Carter Obervers, also he supported the Carter rapport about all this fraud. the reality as we know it's was a massive fraud in katanga, Bandundu and ceni negleted voluntary ballots paper in kinshasa which one of tshisekedi strongold, some ballots went missings and other probably let to be destroy by rain. this is to tel bloggers that Ngoy mulunda office was in kinshasa about 4 kilometers from the compilation center(Fikin)in Lemba, but kinshasa was the lastresult to be publish while in kisangani, Equateur, Goma and so on were miles away from his office. Ngoy mulunda got thoses results faster then Kinshasa and publish it, when asked he rely he got it from Vsat system, very strange, but the VSat system was slow for kinshasa, this showed his intention to make people to accept kabila victory, slowly smothly as the publication goes on he used this system to psychologically make people to accept the result, while the eletoral law who stated the the publication must on the 06 of december I mean in one go. my last question is how did he come up to the number given to us? Let see what next Sunga Congo

Anonymous said...

You know, it may actually be that time to consider breaking up the Congo or, perhaps, working out some other system.

I know this is an anathema to so many but, honestly folks, has this excessive centralization of power in Kinshasa worked after all these years?

In some respects, I really do feel bad for Kabila. He has to try to consolidate power, and do very little else, because he must constantly play a game of musical chairs to keep each tribe and group happy out of fear of rebellion.

In such an environment, why would you develop or allow independent institutions to take hold? Why would you clamp down hard on official corruption? In order to buy loyalty one must allow the shifting tribal alliances in the Congo to eat from the "Congo cake" or you end up disappearing or being overthrown in a rebellion.

So, again, I think it is time to reconfigure the whole idea of the "Congo". The current set up is not working and simply changing leaders, in my view, won't get us any closer to a functioning state.

Indeed, until this discussion on a better political system is done it probably doesn't make sense to keep insisting on democracy. It isn't that the Congolese are not capable of working a democracy but one cannot exist without functioning insitutions like the rule of law, a free and vigorous free press, an effective and vocal civil society, and a balance of power between the different branches of government.

Well, all those things are threats to those who need to consolidate power and hand out goodies to maintain it.

I think its time for Sun City 2 for Sun City 1 has completely, utterly, and totally failed.

And if something like that happens, please, no Angolans or South Africans present. Let the continent's true and dynamic democrats- Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Tunisia- run the show.

** Marie

Anonymous said...

The DRC can be broken up in as many parts as you like, as long as you do not have a politico administrative elite that is willing to build lasting, independent, strong institutions, you will have the same problems over and over again regardless of the country's size.
The DRC is in this situation because of a deeply flawed electoral process: by design or out of bad luck ?....I do not know. Besides, Congolese do have a strong national identity, that is why neither Uganda or Rwanda managed to grab parts of it.

Anonymous said...

Lots of I think deliberate misrepresentation of Carter centre verdict. They said that the 'This assessment does not propose that the final order of candidates is necessarily different than announced by CENI, only that the results process is not credible'Translated for those with an agenda - there are so many irregularities it is impossible to know who won. The point is not that Tshi tshi won - he may well have lost - the point is that the Kabila camp cheated massively. The point I think is that what we should not do is just say 'oh well its complicated and maybe we should just let Kabila win without investigating'. We need serious CREDIBLE, outside observers. And yes sadly South Africa need not apply.

Anonymous said...

Impossible without proper investigation I should say. With sufficient good will it is possible to get credible results.

Anonymous said...

I am very amused when I hear people bringing up the idea of breaking the congo aparts because it does not exist. If the Congo should have been broken apart, it would have been. As someone wrote before me, it is because Congolese have a strong sense of unity that the country is still one and undivided.

Then, regarding these elections, as Koffi Annan said, nothing good can be drawn from massive fraud, there is no stability based in ballot stuffing. Africa in general and Congo in particular cannot afford to have these shameful elections scenarios playing out over and over.

Right is right and wrong is wrong!!!! it is when we start playing with the truth that we start wondering what we should do. What has to be done is to have these elections redo, or clearly audited so that we have a clear idea of who won. If it is Kabila, then it is Kabila if it is Tshisekedi then it is Thsisekedi PERIOD.

Let's stop mulling in eventuality while there is a way of bringing the truth. It will send a strong message to population that they have not to revert to violence for gaining the power as trhuthfull elections will do just the same.

Anonymous said...

Another testimony worth reading from North Kivu. Like it or not, there seems to be a pattern.
http://kivuconfidentiel.blogspot.com/2011/12/crazy-electoral-demographics-in-masisi.html

Anynomous friend of Thomas Sankara.

Anonymous said...

There are too many independent AND credible voices that have expressed reservation with the results by CENI. It is obvious that CENI was ill prepared and ill managed and this is small testimony of the Kabila administration abilities. More than $700 Millions to plan this election and the two main compilation centers Kinshasa and Lubumbashi looked worst than a market on the busiest day of the year!!!! I like the idea of an independent international commission to investigate and sort out who the real winner is. This commission would have the task to gather as many PV from the polling stations and establish a clear count based on PV signed ON ELECTION DAY by ceni workers AND independent observers and/or by opposition and majority party members

Anonymous said...

It is my opinion that people who ask opposition to mount a challenge are completely naive. That court will never do anything so long it is manned by people named directly by the president. It is as if the people asking for this challenge do not know the realities of DRC. ALL judges on that court have been appointed by the president and the Supreme Court judge even share the same name as the president Kabange Numbi....which means just like Ngoy Mulunda all three emanates from the same area....... The north Katanga area where we see participation rate of 100.14% with more than 99% of people voting for Kabila. Let's not be NAIVE or don't make fun of Congolese people!

Anonymous said...

I WILL SOON DECLARE MY SELF AS THE PRESINDENT OF THE UNITED FEDERAL STATE OF KIVU.
(U.F.S.K)

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