DRC: Opposition and ruling party both claim election win

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) leading opposition group and the country’s ruling coalition both claim to have won Sunday’s presidential election.

While the votes are still being counted and an official verdict is yet to be reached, both coalitions have expressed confidence of a victory. The competing claims follow a disorderly election day that left many people unable to vote due to logistical problems, violence and the country’s ongoing Ebola outbreak.

Opposition, ruling coalition expect victory

Martin Fayulu, leader of the opposition Lamuka coalition told Al Jazeera on Monday that he can’t see ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary being named as the winner of Sunday’s poll. However, he and many other members of the opposition group have accused electoral authorities in the DRC of deliberately using logistical issues to block people from voting.

Sunday’s election saw large queues gathered outside voting stations, even as the polls were closing, and many people were unable to cast their vote.

More than 46 million Congolese people registered to take part in the election but it remains unclear how many of them ultimately participated. In at least three opposition strongholds, voting didn’t take place at all and these areas are known to include a minimum of 1.2 million voters alone.

While the DRC’s leading opposition group expresses its confidence over a win, the country’s ruling coalition has also suggested its candidate Shadary will be named the winner.

With so many opposition figures already denouncing the poll and millions of opposition supporters known to have been unable to vote, fears that a disputed outcome could lead to violence in the DRC remain.

Featured image: By MONUSCO/Myriam Asmani, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32468846

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.