16 reasons to annul elections DRC

Thursday december 29, 2011

16 reasons to annul DRC presidential and legislative elections: 

1. In Kinshasa the results of 2000 polling stations are lost (about 350.000 votes). Kinshasa is for the biggest part pro- Etienne Tshisekedi, the biggest opponent of Joseph Kabila. In the rest of DRC, results were lost of another 1000 polling stations, about 500.000 votes.

2. In Katanga a lot of polling stations had a voter turnout of 99-100 %. Almost all these votes were for Joseph Kabila. The average voter turnout in DRC was 58%.

3. The end results were based on the results per province, not the results per polling station as stated in the results form. It meant people could not compare the results as counted by CENI, the organization responsible for the elections, and the results of their own polling station. Sometimes the result forms got lost. Manipulation and fraud became possible. Observers could not attend the final counting.

4. Collection of the voting material, security and counting of the votes per province was complex and a chaos. Fraud and manipulation became therefore a possibility. Bags with votes were opened without official supervision, bags with ballots were to be found in the open air, in the rain, in pools of water, scattered on the ground. The people who counted the votes had to work days on end, without sleep, food or water.

5. information about the elections, before election day was insufficient. People didn't know what to do. Observation teams did not get full cooperation, sometimes poling stations were instructed not to give them any information. 

6. A lot of people could not find their name on the voters list at their polling station. They had to go to other polling stations to try and find their name. In the interior it could mean people had to walk 20 to 30 kilometers to find their polling station. Even in Kinshasa people had to walk long distances to find their own polling station. There were people whose name was not on any list. A lot of Congolese refrained from voting on november 28, because of this.

7. Ballots were found during election day(s) on places where they didn't belong and where everybody could have access.

8. Ballots and ballot lists were torn on election day because of rumors and misinformation.

9. People were prohibited from voting because they were harassed, threatened and because of violence like throwing stones at them.

10. At a lot of polling stations voting material arrived too late or not at all. At those polling stations, voting started later or was not possible at all at election day november 28. Also polling stations received not enough ballot papers. CENI decided on the spur of the moment to extend the elections with two days. It meant voting went on, thursday 29 and wednesday 30 november, in a lot of polling stations without witnesses or observers.

11. Some polling stations did not receive the results form. These forms are very important: after the counting of the votes, the results per candidate (presidential and legislative) are noted down on this form. The forms are signed by the responsible of the polling station and witnesses of political parties. Then the forms are published outside the polling station. This way everybody could see (and check) the results of that particular polling station. 

12. Information for observers was insufficient and differed from day to day. Sometimes observers were threatened during election day(s).

13. The results of the presidential elections were not published as promised december 6, but december 9. This was cause for much unrest and speculation.

14. The results of the legislative elections are still not published. American and British experts offered there help. That was turned down, because CENI thought it would take too long. 

15. As of december 3, no-one could send sms's in DRC. Government decided to take this drastic measure because of hate-sms's, and calls for violence. But senders of these sms's can be found by normal research.

16. Two broadcasters and one newspaper were banned.

Not taken into this account: many deaths during the election campaign, police firing and kiling their own citizens in Kinshasa after publication of the results, violence at polling stations all over DRC.  

Every observer team has denounced this elections because of the lack of transparency, lack of communication, chaotic organization, and the possibilities of manipulation and fraud. But NO COUNTRY so far, has stated that Joseph Kabila is not the legal president, that new elections are a 'must'.

So again, it's just words, no action. It's the ordinary Congolese citizen who has to pay the price. Question is: for how long is he prepared to do so.

(People are invited to add and correct this list: andrajour@yahoo.fr / @anneketanneke (twitter))