DRC: Election result delayed, commission tells voters to ‘remain patient’

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) electoral commission has delayed the results of last month’s presidential election.

The country’s electoral commission (Ceni) originally said it would publish provisional results for the election on January 6 but expressed doubts over its ability to deliver the results over the weekend. Opposition groups suspect the commission could be using the delay to allow the government to rig the result.

DRC election result delayed

The DRC’s electoral commission now says it isn’t sure when it will be able to publish either the provisional election results or the final version. Ceni chief Corneille Nangaa has told journalists that 53% of the DRC’s 75,000 polling stations have been counted but offered no revised date for the publication of results.

This comes after the country’s influential Catholic Church, which fielded thousands of election observers, said there was a clear winner in the poll and called upon the electoral commission to quickly announce the result.

The DRC has shut down internet access and SMS messaging services to prevent people spreading speculative results. Authorities have also blocked Canal Congo Television, which is owned by ex-rebel leader and opposition politician Jean-Pierre Bemba, and international broadcaster Radio France International.

The US has stationed troops in neighbouring Gabon due to the “possibility that violent demonstrations may occur.”

Featured image: flickr photo by MONUSCO https://flickr.com/photos/monusco/32109067714 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.