RDC éléctions

Presidential election in the DRC: opposition and civil society denounce “a sham election”

While the outgoing head of state, Félix Tshisekedi, is in the lead, according to initial trends, opposition candidates have denounced irregularities during the presidential election of December 20, which they describe as a “sham election.”

The outgoing president receives more than 80% of the votes. Coming in second position is Moïse Katumbi, credited with 15.18%. Martin Fayulu obtains 1.2%. Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege is struggling to reach 1%.

A vote described on Sunday as a “gigantic organized disorder” by Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, archbishop. The opposition, for its part, demands the organization of new elections. The day after the quadruple vote, the government was hailed for its part as “a generally positive vote”. The political climate remains tense. The Catholic Church as well as several chancelleries have called for restraint.

In a letter made public on Saturday, five opposition presidential candidates informed the governor of Kinshasa of their intention to organize a march on Wednesday. “We will protest against the irregularities observed during the voting operations”they wrote, describing the vote as “mock elections”. Among these opponents are Martin Fayulu, unsuccessful candidate in the 2018 election, and Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize winner.

The camp of another opposition candidate, the former governor of the mining region of Katanga (southeast) Moïse Katumbi, for its part called for the outright cancellation of the elections. During a press conference, representatives of around ten civil society organizations and other presidential candidates joined this call, “demanding the cancellation” of the elections.

In their joint press release, the signatories also denounced “a sham election”, considering in particular that the extension of the vote over several days had the “objective of encouraging widespread fraud”. They also indicated that they planned to join Wednesday’s demonstration despite the ban.