Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Second-Round Vote Counting Begins in DRC

VOA News | Published on October 29, 2006

Colombant report (Real Audio) - Download 423k audio clip
Listen to Colombant report (Real Audio) audio clip

Vote-counting has started in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following a second-round presidential election to end a transition period, and years of war and misrule. The national election commission says it is investigating serious incidents of violence that took place during voting in the northwest province of Equateur.

Vote counting begins in DRC, Oct. 29, 2006
Vote counting begins in DRC, Oct. 29, 2006
The commission said the election, pitting transitional President Joseph Kabila against former rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba passed normally throughout the vast mineral-rich Congo. It congratulated voters for going to the polls, despite heavy rains in much of the country's west.

An election for new provincial assemblies also took place, even though some of the ballot papers for that election were sent to the wrong places.

The commission pointed out two serious incidents of violence, one near the town of Bumba, where election officials were accused of stuffing ballots in favor of Mr. Kabila. The commission also mentioned an incident in Bikoro, where it said unidentified gunmen attacked two polling stations.

Officials said there was also an attack on a pro-Kabila radio station in the same province.

Media reports quoted police and officials as saying at least one person was killed in violence.

Meanwhile in Kinshasa, officials delegated by the two presidential candidates signed an agreement guaranteeing security for the election loser. They also called for their supporters to remain calm and to use only legal means in case of a dispute.

Following a sometimes chaotic and confused release of first round results, clashes between rival armed groups left dozens dead last August in the streets of Kinshasa .

A spokesman for Congo's U.N. peacekeeping mission, Jean Tobie Okala, says efforts are being made to avoid a repeat scenario.

"The electoral commission organized workshops after the first polls, just to learn lessons from the first round, what happened, what was not good or wrong, why did that happen," he said. "And, they say that having learned lessons from the first round, they will do better than during the first round."

he Africa director for a U.S. based pro-democracy group called IFES, Chris Hennemeyer, says the problems may be deeper rooted.

"There was a fair bit of trouble when the results were announced in August, but, of course, that trouble was largely limited to a few square blocks of downtown Kinshasa, and the rest of the country was relatively unaffected," he said. "The question mark in all this is these individual militias that the candidates have, and that is a problem that has yet to be fully resolved. I think, in the longer term, stability of the Congo is going to depend upon successfully integrating these armed men into a national army, and giving it some kind of national focus, as opposed to its current regional, political and ethnic affiliation."

Observers say voter turnout appeared light, Oct. 29, 2006
Observers say voter turnout appeared light, Oct. 29, 2006
Observers, journalists and diplomats said turnout in certain parts of the country appeared much lower compared to the first round.

In the eastern region of Ituri, human rights observers reported that soldiers set up roadblocks on access roads to polling centers, asking money for passage, and thus further reducing turnout.

Final results are not expected until mid- to late November, but security will be heightened in the coming days, as candidates should be able to figure out through party delegates who the winner is.

Mr. Kabila nearly won outright in the first round, and built alliances going into the second round, making him the favorite. He has been president since 2001 after his father, a former coup leader, was assassinated.


Related articles

  1. 'Deadly environment' plus 'political and social' obstacles hinder Ebola fight, Security Council hears (July 24, 2019)
  2. Ebola outbreak declared an international Public Health Emergency (July 17, 2019)
  3. Felix Tshisekedi Sworn In as DR Congo President (January 24, 2019)
  4. Constitutional Court Declares Tshisekedi Winner of Presidential Election (January 19, 2019)
  5. Felix Tshisekedi Vows to Be the President of All Congolese (January 10, 2019)
  6. Felix Tshisekedi Elected DR Congo President (January 10, 2019)
  7. DR Congo Delays Results of December Election (January 06, 2019)
  8. Jean-Pierre Bemba Returns to DR Congo (August 01, 2018)
  9. At least 30 dead after massacres in Ituri (March 02, 2018)
  10. Botswana Urges Joseph Kabila to Step Down (February 26, 2018)
  11. No elections in DR Congo in December without electronic voting machines: INEC (February 13, 2018)
  12. US Warns DR Congo Against Electronic Voting for Delayed Election (February 12, 2018)
  13. Felix Tshisekedi accuses INEC of illegally prolonging Kabila's mandate (October 24, 2017)
  14. DRC Seeks Arrest of Presidential Candidate Moise Katumbi (May 19, 2016)
  15. Papa Wemba Is Buried in Kinshasa (May 04, 2016)
  16. Papa Wemba Awarded Highest National Honor as Thousands Pay Tribute (May 02, 2016)
  17. DR Congo reach final of African Nations Championship (February 03, 2016)
  18. Political tensions 'running high' in DR Congo ahead of 2016 elections (October 07, 2015)
  19. Rights Groups: DR Congo Must Free Pro-democracy Activists (April 13, 2015)
  20. Police Open Fire on Crowd Protesting Election Law Change (January 19, 2015)
  21. DR Congo: The country that knows how to beat Ebola (December 11, 2014)
  22. ICC Confirms 14-Year Sentence Against Thomas Lubanga (December 01, 2014)
  23. Ebola Epidemic Resurfaces in DR Congo's Equateur Province (August 25, 2014)
  24. Etienne Tshisekedi Evacuated to Belgium for Medical Treatment (August 16, 2014)
  25. ICC sentences Germain Katanga to 12 years (May 23, 2014)
  26. 15 dead in football match stampede in Kinshasa (May 12, 2014)
  27. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 04, 2014)
  28. Kerry in DR Congo for Security Talks (May 03, 2014)
  29. Security Council extends UN mission, intervention force in DR Congo for one year (March 28, 2014)
  30. Death toll in Lake Albert boat accident rises to 108 people (March 24, 2014)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© 2023 All rights reserved.