Delay in releasing DRC provisional election results, says CENI

Joseph Kabila

Joseph Kabila

"We are concerned that the Congolese government is trying to change the electoral result to manipulate the vote", said Edmontonian Victor Moke-Ngala, who can no longer communicate with family members living in the vast, mineral-rich central African country.

The United States was deeply concerned by the DRC's National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) decision to deny accreditation to several global election observers and media representatives, it said. This could be Congo's first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

The U.N. Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss Congo on Friday, at France's request.

The U.S. strongly urged CENI to ensure that votes are counted in a transparent and open manner, with observers present, and that the results reported by CENI are accurate and correspond to results announced at each of DRC's 75,000 polling stations. Ms Shamdasani also noted reports that freedom of expression is under threat in DRC.

"Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo should reverse their systematic campaign of censorship and instead prioritize journalists' ability to keep citizens informed", said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator Angela Quintal.

The other leading candidates were Fayulu, a businessman and lawmaker in Kinshasa, and Felix Tshisekedi, son of late opposition icon Etienne and head of Congo's most prominent opposition party.

But, he stressed, "these were not able to significantly affect the choice which the Congolese people clearly expressed through the ballot box".

"We are working around the clock".

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CENI had stated that the first batch of results will be released on January 6, 2019 - a week after the historic elections took place across the country, except for three cities.

"We are working hard to announce them as soon as possible", Corneille Nangaa said.

"We had proposed a solution" for the DRC's infrastructure problems, "but it was refused, now we have to live with the situation", he said.

He later told a news conference that election officials had collected about 20% of the results needed and that results from all 73,000 voting stations would then be consolidated.

- Democratic Republic of Congo goes to the polls on December 23, 2018 in elections which could see the country emerge from 17 years of conflict-ridden rule under the incumbent controversial president.

But after 18 years in power, critics say, Kabila is determined to hang on by securing a win for his chosen candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

The move to cut internet access and block RFI broadcasts drew a sharp rebuke from Paris on Thursday.

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