English Africa Service – Vatican City
The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), in its preliminary report on the general elections, published Thursday called upon the Independent National Electoral Commission, CENI, "to publish the election results in keeping with truth and justice."
CENCO deployed more than 40,000 observers across the country to monitor the vote and carried out its own parallel vote tabulation.
Congolese people expressed themselves through the ballot box
The preliminary statement of the Electoral Observation Mission of CENCO nevertheless emphasised that notwithstanding electoral irregularities, it believed that the "the irregularities that were observed did not significantly affect the choice which the people of Congo clearly expressed through the ballot box" on Election Day.
Election went relatively well
Election monitors from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said on Wednesday that the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election "went relatively well" in spite of chaotic scenes that prevented many from voting. SADC also said Sunday’s election allowed "the majority of the Congolese population to exercise its right to vote." They further stated that according to their assessment vote-counting was transparent and that 59 per cent of polling places it observed opened on time and police securing the polls behaved professionally.
A Congolese observer group, SYMOCEL said in reports on Thursday they witnessed widespread irregularities on Election Day, but did not allege fraud.
31 December 2016 Agreeement paved way for the election
Father Nshole in his statement recalled the mixed context of Congo’s election several times postponed. He decried the insecurity prevalent in the country before the vote; a contested electoral register and general dissatisfaction with the introduction of new electronic voting machines. Father Nshole nevertheless praised Congo’s Bishops for brokering the Political Agreement signed by political parties on 31 December 2016 as having paved the way for the election just held.
The people of Congo finally voted on 30 December 2018, except for the populations of Béni, Butembo in North Kivu and Yumbi in the Mai-Ndombe region. Authorities said security concerns and Ebola necessitated the postponement of elections in these areas to March 2019.
Three leading candidates vying to succeed DRC’s President Joseph Kabila are opposition leaders Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi. Kabila’s preferred successor is former interior minister, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.