03/20/2019

Tension mounts as Congo’s election commission delays results announcement

Congo’s historic yet disorganized election suffered yet another delay on Sunday as the election commission admitted it had tabulated only about half of results on the day it was supposed to have completed the count. It did not say when it would be able to release results.

The delay fuels suspicions that the election commission is compromised and using the borrowed time to rig results in favor of president Joseph Kabila’s chosen successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary. A vote widely perceived to have been manipulated could trigger violence in Congo, which has been plagued by civil wars and insurrections for decades.

Congo voted on Dec. 30 to replace Kabila, who is stepping down after 18 years in power. Shadary is up against two main opposition candidates, Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi. The vote was initially scheduled for 2016, but Kabila repeatedly delayed it, staying on two years past his constitutionally mandated term limit.

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