Democratic Republic of the Congo general election, 2006

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Democratic Republic of the Congo
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General elections were held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on July 30, 2006, the first multiparty elections in the country in 46 years. Voters went to the polls to elect both a new President of the Republic and a new National Parliament.

The polls were boycotted by the veteran opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, who complained of fraud. The international community donated $460 million to fund the elections and deployed the world's largest UN peacekeeping operation, MONUC, to help the stability of the election. While the election was conducted relatively peacefully, the collection of the results has proven chaotic, leading to armed clashes and growing fears of instability. As a result, DRC election officials announced that they would begin to release partial results earlier instead of only announcing the final count on August 20. <ref name="IOL">"Partial DRC election results to be released", Independent Online, August 7, 2006</ref>

On August 20, the CEI released its full provisional presidential election results, indicating that neither candidate was able to secure a majority, which led to a run-off election on October 29. On that day, voters went to the polls to vote in:

On November 15, the CEI released its full provisional results for the presidential election's second round, indicating that Kabila had won. The results were, however, rejected by Bemba who claimed irregularities. On November 27, the DRC Supreme Court confirmed that Kabila had won the election.


[edit] Registration and voter turnout

Over 25 million people registered to vote for the elections, in a country where the exact population is not known, but is likely in excess of 60 million. The Independent Electoral Commission (CEI or La Commission Electorale Indépendante) reported a voter turnout of 80 percent. <ref>"DRC records 80% voter turnout", South African Broadcasting Corporation, August 20, 2006</ref>

[edit] Candidates

Thirty three people registered as candidates for the Presidency <ref>(French) "List of definitive candidates to the presidential elections", CEI, July 2006</ref> and 9,000 for the 500 seats in the federal parliament. <ref>"First results posted in DR Congo", BBC News, 2006-07-31</ref>

The initial presidential favourites were Joseph Kabila, the incumbent, and Jean-Pierre Bemba, one of the four vice-presidents.


[edit] Conduct

At least six people were killed in violent street protests in the run up to the election.<ref>"World leaders back Congo polls as democracy test", South African Broadcasting Corporation, July 29, 2006</ref>

As of July 30, most polling stations were reported to have opened on time, with the election remaining peaceful. <ref>"Historic elections get under way in DRC", South African Broadcasting Corporation, July 30, 2006</ref> The election closely followed an agreement with Ituri militias on July 28, an agreement which MONUC has stated "greatly enhances the security situation in the province in the lead-up to the historic DRC elections." <ref>"MONUC: Ituri militia agreements are very important for elections security", MONUC, July 28, 2006</ref>

[edit] Violence in Kasai

Presumed supporters of Tshisekedi burnt polling stations and voting materials in the city of Mbuji-Mayi, capital of East Kasai province, on Sunday to prevent the elections being held. The elections were extended until Monday and riot police were deployed. <ref>"Congo voting extended in area of boycott", CNN, July 31, 2006</ref>

[edit] Fraud allegations

On the day of the election three Vice-Presidents and candidates complained of vote rigging. Bemba, Ruberwa and Z'Ahidi said "Perhaps we are heading for a masquerade or a parody of elections". <ref name="EO">Congo drone crash compounds EU soldiers' image problem, Euobserver, 31 July, 2006. </ref>

[edit] Partial preliminary results

Preliminary results were expected to be released on August 2, <ref name="EO" /> but due to the remoteness of many polling stations, results were not expected to be finalised until three weeks after the polls close. While South African observers approved the election, other monitors expressed concern, including ones from the Carter Center. <ref>On September 1, the Carter Center released its report on the election's first round, finding it "credible," without "evidence of widespread or systematic manipulation." Still, it pointed to "important procedural flaws that weakened the transparency of the process." ("Carter Center Finds DRC Elections Credible, But Warns of Important procedural Flaws", Voice of America, September 1, 2006)</ref> <ref name= "RNZ">"Concerns over election results in Congo" [1], Radio New Zealand, August 6, 2006</ref> MONUC reported that on August 3, on the third day of "chaotic poll-counting, a suspicious fire at a major Kinshasa election center deepened concerns over the transparency of the results." <ref name= MONUC>"Congo ballots go up in flames", MONUC, August 6, 2006</ref> According to MONUC, while the election itself may have met requirements, "the process of collecting results from 50,000 polling stations had become chaotic." On August 6, MONUC predicted that President Joseph Kabila appeared most likely to win, with Jean-Pierre Bemba finishing second. <ref name= MONUC />

[edit] Clashes in eastern DRC

On August 5, thousands in eastern DRC were fleeing clashes between the DRC army and forces affiliated with General Laurent Nkunda. DRC officials reported that two government soldiers were killed in the fighting. <ref name= "RNZ" /> According to the The Independent, Nkunda, who is "widely believed to be in third place in the race for the DRC's presidency," stated that he will respect the results, but along with over 30 other candidates, expressed "determination to resist results which are perceived to be unfair." <ref>"Congo elections 'teetering on brink'", The Independent, August 5, 2006</ref> Nkunda, who remains subject of an international arrest warrant issued by the DRC government "for alleged atrocities against civilians committed since 2004," expressed a willingness to negotiate with the winner of the election, but also, determination to resist any military attack. MONUC spokesperson reported that the peacekeeping force had began patrolling in the area and that fighting has become limited to isolated incidents. <ref>"Rebel troops clash with army in eastern Congo", South African Broadcasting Corporation August 5, 2006</ref>

[edit] Pre-release of interim results

While the official provisional election results were not to be announced until August 20, on August 7, due to the tense climate brought by the chaotic collection of results and after pressures from international envoys (an effort led by South Africa), the DRC Electoral Commission stated that it will begin releasing interim election results as soon as the 20 percent vote count threshold is reached. <ref name="IOL" /> On August 8, some results were released, indicating that Kabila "overwhelmingly won" in the east while Bemba won in the west. A UN representative stated that it is too early to declare a winner. Preliminary national results were not expected until at least August 14. <ref>"UN: Too Early to Declare Winner Despite Early DRC Election Results", Associated Press, August 8, 2006</ref> On August 12, the DRC Independent Electoral Commission announced that six poll officials have been arrested for attempting to falsify the election results. <ref>"DRC poll workers arrested for falsifying results", ABC News, August 12, 2006</ref> The officials were arrested on August 10, and appeared in court on August 11. <ref>"DRC election officials arrested for fraud", Independent Online, August 11, 2006</ref> On August 15, the IEC reported that 94 percent of the presidential votes and 44 percent of the parliamentary results had been counted. <ref>"SA observers happy with DRC vote count", Mail & Guardian, August 15, 2006</ref>MONUC cautioned against media speculation of the results, while the instability in eastern DRC continues. <ref>"Ethnic rivalry overshadows DRC poll count", Mail & Guardian, August 15, 2006</ref> On August 16, Angola deployed four battalions along the DRC border. The Angolan army's Deputy Chief of Staff, General Geraldo Sachipendo Nunda, has said that these are steps taken "to ensure the security of our borders," although it has been speculated that Angola is preparing to intervene, if the need arises, in favor of Kabila. <ref>"Angola reinforces troops on DRC border", Mail & Guardian, August 16, 2006</ref> On August 17, the UN began investigating a suspected child prostitution ring involving UN peacekeepers and members of the DRC army. <ref>"DRC: UN peacekeepers again accused of sex abuse", Mail & Guardian, August 17, 2006</ref> Also on August 17, MONUC chief William Lacy Swing, warned against hate messages in local Bemba-run media which called on Congolese to target white people and foreigners. <ref>"Hate messages in DR Congo media targeting ‘white people’ spark UN concerns", United Nations, August 17, 2006</ref> This was in response to a widespread perception that Kabila's election had been backed by the international community. <ref> Vote Count Continues in Congo Election, Washington Post, 2006-08-15 </ref> In response, the Congolese High Authority on Media suspended for twenty four hours the RTAE and CCTV television stations, the latter owned by Bemba. The government-owned Congolese Broadcasting Corporation television station, controlled by Kabila, also received a twenty four hour suspension. <ref name="WJP">"UN worried about DRC hate messages", Wits Journalism Programme, August 20, 2006</ref>

[edit] Interim results

The CEI released its full provisional results for the presidential election on August 20. On August 31, the DRC Supreme Court will announce the final official presidential election results. The CEI is set to release the results of the parliamentary election during early September. <ref>"Presidential runoff expected ahead of Congolese election results", Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 20, 2006</ref> Both events ended up being postponed, and as of September 7, remain so.

[edit] Presidential

Results of the first round of the 2006 presidential election by Province. <ref>This is the pre-February 2006 Constitution provincial composition.</ref> Candidates: Kabila; Bemba; Gizenga

On August 20, with almost all the votes from the country's 169 constituencies having been counted, the DRC headed toward a run-off election. There were reports of automatic gunfire in Kinshasa, and MLC representatives accused Kabila's Republican Guard of killing one of its men and injuring three policemen. <ref>"Congo poll heads for runoff, gunfire in Kinshasa", Reuters, August 20, 2006</ref> The armed clashes resulted in the long-awaited CEI announcement ceremony being delayed by several hours. <ref>"Kabila Faces Runoff in Congo; Violence Delays Ceremony", New York Times, August 20, 2006</ref> Full provisional results show Kabila with 44.81 percent of the vote, to Bemba's 20.03. Gizenga secured about 13 percent,<ref>"DRC: presidential run-off, Special Broadcasting Service, August 20, 2006</ref> Mobutu about 5 percent and Kashala around 4 percent.<ref>Kinshasa calmer after peace deal, BBC News, August 22, 2006</ref>

[discuss] – [edit]
Summary of the 30 July 2006 election results [2]
Candidate Party Votes %
Joseph Kabila Independent 7,590,485 44.81%
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo MLC 3,392,592 20.03%
Antoine Gizenga PALU 2,211,280 13.06%
Nzanga Mobutu UDEMO 808,397 4.77%
Oscar Kashala UREC 585,410 3.46%
Azarias Ruberwa Manywa RCG-G 285,641 1.69%
Pierre Pay-Pay wa Syakasighe DCF-COFEDEC 267,749 1.58%
Vincent de Paul Lunda-Bululu RSF 237,257 1.40%
Joseph Olenghankoy Mukundji FONUS 102,186 0.60%
Pierre Anatole Matusila Malungenine Kongo Independent 99,408 0.59%
Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi Forces du Renouveau 96,503 0.57%
Bernard Emmanuel Kabatu Suila USL 86,143 0.51%
Eugène Diomi Ndongala DC 85,897 0.51%
other candidates 2,319,547 6.42%
Total (turnout 70.54%) 17,931,238

[edit] Parliamentary

On August 25, MONUC announced that the parliamentary results will be released as early as that day,<ref>"Legislative election results in DR Congo expected any time, says UN mission", United Nations, August 25, 2006</ref> but as of August 27, they have yet to be released. On August 28, the CEI began releasing the legislative results, with the final count expected for September 4. <ref>"Officials start to release DRC results ", AFP, August 28, 2006</ref> On September 4, the CEI postponed releasing the results of the parliamentary elections by at least a day following the arrest of ten Bemba-affiliated election officials. Still, the CEI announced that these problems will not affect the results. <ref>"10 DRC election workers held", Associated Press, September 4, 2006</ref> The results so far released, show Kabila at a strong lead with 45% of the seats to Bemba's 14%, the remaining going to other parties. Of the 500 parliamentary seats, 58 have yet to be released. <ref>"Kabila likely to head DRC", Reuters, September 4, 2006</ref> On September 8, the CEI released the results, revealing that no single party gained the 251 seats needed to secure a majority. Kabila's PPRD has won 111 seats, while Bemba's MLC won 64 seats. <ref>"DRC: Parliamentary polls results out, no party gains majority", Reuters September 8, 2006</ref>

[edit] Clashes in Kinshasa

Starting on August 20 heavy armed clashes took place in Kinsasha between forces loyal to Kabila and Bemba. Both sides accused the other of starting the fighting. <ref name="CA">"Congo-Kinshasa: Fresh Fighting After SA Envoy Rescued in DRC", Cape Argus, August 22, 2006</ref>

On August 21, while a meeting between Bemba and foreign ambassadors representing the International Committee Accompanying the Transition to Democracy (CIAT)<ref>"CIAT includes the ambassadors of the five United Nations Security Council permanent members: UK, PRC, France, Russia and the US; as well as Angola, Belgium, Canada, Gabon, Zambia and South Africa and officials from the UN peacekeeping mission MONUC, the European Union and the African Union."</ref> was taking place in Kinshasa, clashes broke out between Kabila and Bemba forces, and Bemba's residence which hosted the meeting, came under attack. According to one diplomat in the residence, it included artillery and heavy machine gun fire. <ref>"DRC: Candidate's residence attacked", Mail & Guardian, August 21, 2006</ref> Bemba and the diplomats were moved to the safety of the residence's shelter and there were no reports of injuries. Evacuation plans for the diplomats stranded in the shelter were reportedly being drawn up. Bemba's private helicopter was said to have been destroyed in the attack. <ref>"Kabila, Bemba Forces Fight in Congo Capital", Voice of America, August 21, 2006</ref> Several hours later, the UN spokesperson in the DRC, Jean-Tobias Okala, announced that the foreign diplomats, including MONUC chief William Swing, had been successfuly evacuated to UN headquarters by Spanish and Uruguayan peace-keeping forces after a top Kabila general and UN forces commander cooperated to allow them safe passage. <ref>"UN frees diplomats trapped in Congo attack", CBC, August 21, 2006</ref>

Once the rescue had been completed, fighting in the DRC capital ensued, and on August 22, two DRC army tanks were reported seen heading toward the latest area of fighting. <ref name="CA" /> The EU began sending more peacekeeping troops to Kinsasha and MONUC chief Swing called for an immediate ceasefire. <ref>"UN presses Congo factions to end Kinshasa fighting", SABC, August 22, 2006</ref> Later on August 22, on the third day of fighting, the two sides signed a tentative ceasefire agreement to withdraw from the centre of Kinshasa. AFP reports that "the deal was signed by representatives of Kabila and Bemba, DRC army, the UN mission MONUC, European force EUFOR and European police mission EUROPOL, meeting as a "working group" at MONUC's Kinshasa headquarters." At least three people have died during Tuesday's fighting. <ref>"DRC rivals withdraw forces", AFP, August 22, 2006</ref> Sixteen people were reported killed in the fighting which saw heavy artillery and machine gun fire, with police reporting more bodies being found and the deathtoll expected to rise considerably. <ref name="MG2">"DRC police fire shots as fragile truce holds", Mail & Guardian, August 24, 2006</ref> Later in the day, Interior Minister Theophile Mbemba Fundu, placed the deathtoll for the week at 23 killed, 43 injured. <ref>"23 killed in DRC violence", AFP, August 24, 2006</ref> As of August 24, the ceasefire remained in effect, with army forces loyal to the two candidates remaining in barracks, but the situation remains unstable. <ref>"Fragile DRC ceasefire holding", SABC, August 24, 2006</ref> Later in the day, police fired shots in the air to disperse angry crowds demanding that two of Bemba's television stations be reopened. <ref name="MG2" />. South African Airways announced that flights to Kinshasa will be resumed on August 25 after being suspended since the fighting began. <ref>"SAA flights resume to DRC", Independent Online, August 24, 2006</ref>

On August 26, Kabila and Bemba announced that the two had agreed to meet. <ref>"DRC presidential rivals to meet", AFP, August 26, 2006</ref> Later in the day, however, tensions were heightend as Bemba failed to attend the meeting. <ref>"Bemba boycotts Kabila meeting", AFP, August 26, 2006</ref> On August 29, MONUC announced that representatives of Kabila and Bemba were due to meet under UN supervision. <ref>"Opposing Congo camps to meet under UN supervision", AFP, August 29, 2006</ref> Later in the day, it was reported that Kabila and Bemba themselves met for the first time since the clashes began. <ref>"DRC poll rivals meet for talks", AFP, August 29, 2006</ref> On August 30, MONUC announced that the meeting resulted in the establishment of two joint sub-commissios, one to conduct an independent investigation of the clashes, and the other to devise rules which will prevent violence from reoccuring during the October 29 run-off election. <ref>"Candidates Working to Prevent Violence During Runoff", MONUC, August 30, 2006</ref>

The French Wikipedia has an article about the August 2006 Kinsasha clashes: Événements de Kinshasa d'août 2006 (French)

[edit] Release of official results

As of early September, the DRC Supreme Court is to have about two months to rule on election-related appeals.

[edit] Presidential

On September 5, the DRC Supreme Court, which was set to release the official results of the election's first round, announced it will be postponing doing so pending two legal challenges which deem the forthcoming second round of elections unconstitutional. <ref>"DRC supreme court postpones release of final presidential election results", People's Daily, September 5, 2006</ref> MONUC, however, stated on September 6 that it is satisfied with the electoral process, but expressed concern over the humanitarian situation. <ref>"MONUC satisfied with DRC electoral process but concerned with humanitarian situation", MONUC, September 6, 2006</ref>

[edit] Parliamentary

The CEI has postponed releasing the interim results for several days and these were released on September 8. As of that day, the CEI is to have fifteen days to set the date for the first session of parliament. This notwithstanding any Supreme Court rulings on its final composition.

Party Seats Percentage
People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) 111 22.2
Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC)6412.8
Unified Lumumbist Party (PALU)346.8
Mouvement Social pour le Renouveau (MSR)275.4
Forces du Renouveau265.2
Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD)153.0
Coalition des Démocrates Congolais (CODECO)102.0
Convention des Démocrates Chrétiens (CDC)102.0
Union des Démocrates Mobutistes (UDEMO)91.8
Camp de la Patrie81.6
Federalist Christian Democracy-Convention of Federalists for Christian Democracy (DCF-COFEDEC)81.6
Parti Démocrate Chrétien (PDC)81.6
Union des Nationalistes Fédéralistes du Congo (UNAFEC)71.4
Alliance Congolaise des Démocrates Chrétiens (ACDC)40.8
Alliance des Démocrates Congolais (ADECO)40.8
Convention des Congolais Unis (CCU)40.8
Patriotes Résistants Maï-Maï (PRM)40.8
Rassemblement des Congolais Démocrates et Nationalistes (RCDN)40.8
Union du Peuple pour la République et le Développement Intégral (UPRDI)40.8
Alliance des Bâtisseurs du Kongo (ABAKO)30.6
Convention Démocrate pour le Développement (CDD)30.6
Convention pour la République et la Démocratie (CRD)30.6
National Alliance Party for Unity (PANU)30.6
Parti des Nationalistes pour le Développement Intégral (PANADI)30.6
Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC)30.6
Union Nationale des Démocrates Fédéralistes (UNADEF)30.6
Alliance des Nationalistes Croyants Congolais (ANCC)20.4
Alliance pour le Renouveau du Congo (ARC)20.4
Forces Novatrices pour l'Union et la Solidarité (FONUS)20.4
Mouvement pour la Démocratie et le Développement (MDD)20.4
Parti Congolais pour la Bonne Gouvernance (PCBG)20.4
Parti de la Révolution du Peuple (PRP)20.4
Democratic Social Christian Party (PDSC)20.4
Rassemblement des Forces Sociales et Fédéralistes (RSF)20.4
Renaissance Plate-forme électorale (RENAISSANCE-PE)20.4
Solidarité pour le Développement National (SODENA)20.4
Union pour la Majorité Républicaine (UMR)20.4
Union Nationale des Démocrates Chrétiens (UNADEC)20.4
Action de Rassemblement pour la Reconstruction et l'Edification Nationales (ARREN)10.2
Alliance des Nationalistes Congolais/Plate Forme (ANC/PF)10.2
Conscience et Volonté du Peuple (CVP)10.2
Convention Chrétienne pour la Démocratie (CCD)10.2
Convention Nationale d'Action Politique (CNAP)10.2
Convention Nationale pour la République et le Progrès (CNRP)10.2
Démocratie Chrétienne (DC)10.2
Front des Démocrates Congolais (FRODECO)10.2
Front pour l'Intégration Sociale (FIS)10.2
Front Social des Indépendants Républicains (FSIR)10.2
Front des Sociaux Démocrates pour le Développement (FSDD)10.2
Générations Républicaines (GR)10.2
Mouvement d'Action pour la Résurrection du Congo, Parti du Travail et de la (MARC-PTF)10.2
Mouvement d'Autodéfense pour l'Intégrité et le Maintien de l'Autorité Indép (MAI-MAI MOUVE)10.2
Mouvement du Peuple Congolais pour la République (MPCR)10.2
Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution (MPR)10.2
Mouvement Solidarité pour la Démocratie et le Développement (MSDD)10.2
Mouvement Maï-Maï (MMM)10.2
Organisation Politique des Kasavubistes et Alliés (OPEKA)10.2
Parti Congolais pour le Bien-être du Peuple (PCB)10.2
Parti de l'Unité Nationale (PUNA)10.2
Parti National du Peuple (PANAP)10.2
Rassemblement des Chrétiens pour le Congo (RCPC)10.2
Rassemblement des Écologistes Congolais, les verts (REC-LES VERTS)10.2
Rassemblement pour le Développement Économique et Social (RADESO)10.2
Union Congolaise pour le Changement (UCC)10.2
Union des Libéraux Démocrates Chrétiens (ULDC)10.2
Union des Patriotes Nationalistes Congolais (UPNAC)10.2
Union pour la Défense de la République (UDR)10.2
Non alloués20.4

[edit] Presidential run-off

During late October 2006, as the date for the presidential run-off approached, security concerns were increasingly expressed. On October 26, the CEI stated that the North Kivu province could see security threats. While MONUC stated that they "'do not foresee any major problems,'"<ref>"DRC's security threats troubling: IEC", South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 26, 2006</ref> the next day, on October 27, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that he was "very concerned about the increasing level of violence as election day approaches" <ref name="allafrica">"Congo-Kinshasa: Annan 'Very Concerned' At Rising Violence Ahead of Sunday's Elections", United Nations, October 27, 2006</ref><ref>"Pre-election violence in Democratic Republic of Congo worries Secretary-General", Relief Web, October 27, 2006</ref> The head of the South African observer mission, Mluleki George, stated ,however, that he expected the election would "'be held under normal and peaceful conditions.'" As well, rebel leader Laurent Nkunda reiterated he will respect the results,<ref>"DRC rebel leader commits to peace", South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 27, 2006</ref> a pledge which was also expressed by Bemba. <ref>"DRC: I will not fight if I lose election - Bemba", Reuters, October 27, 2006</ref>

On October 29, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (which a day before condemned police violence against its correspondent <ref>"SABC condemns beating of reporter in DRC", Mail & Guardian, October 28, 2006</ref>) reported that despite delays in the Kinshasa area, caused by heavy rains, voting was "running smoothly in most other parts of the DRC." <ref>"Heavy rain delays voting in Kinshasa", South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 29, 2006</ref> The African Union hailed "the smooth conduct" of the election and appealed for calm as vote counting began. <ref>"AU hails DRC polls, appeals for calm", Mail & Guardian, October 31, 2006</ref> Carter Center chief observer, former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark, stated that "attempted manipulation of the electoral process, while very serious in a few cases, appear at this point to be isolated and unlikely to affect the overall success of the vote." <ref>"DRC Observers Seek Transparency in Vote Counting", Voice of America, November 1, 2006</ref>

[edit] Clashes in Equateur

During the first day of voting, violent clashes in the Equateur province resulted in two fatalities. <ref>"DRC election marred by violence", News24, October 29, 2006</ref><ref>"DRC police open fire as voters go to polls", Independent Online, October 30, 2006</ref> MONUC stated later in the day that "the situation has returned to calm and voting operations are taking place normally throughout Equateur." Additional reports of clashes remained unconfirmed, but these appeared to have been limited to Equateur. <ref>"DRCongo vote mostly peaceful", Special Broadcasting Service, October 30, 2006</ref>

[edit] Rioting in Ituri

On October 30, as vote counting began, MONUC reported that a soldier killed two poll workers in the town of Fataki, Ituri province, resulting in riots which led to the destruction of 43 polling stations. The reason for the shooting remain unclear, but it appears that the soldier was drunk. <ref>"DRC hit by post election riots", News24, October 30, 2006</ref> The soldier has been sentenced to death for the murders. <ref>"DRC soldier to be killed for murdering officials", South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 31, 2006</ref>

[edit] Partial preliminary results (2nd round)

The results of the presidential run-off are to be released on November 19, 2006. <ref name="allafrica"/> On October 30, voter turnout was estimated to have been low. <ref>"Low turnout, minor incidents mark DRC elections", Angola Press, October 30, 2006</ref> The head of the CEI, Apollinaire Malumalu, warned on November 1 against releasing partial preliminary results to prevent the same violent clashes which followed during the election's first round. <ref>"DR Congo: CEI urges vote results caution", Angola Press, November 1, 2006</ref>

[edit] Pre-release of interim results (2nd round)

Three days later, however, the CEI decided to prerelease partial preliminary results to stem the spread of rumours,<ref>"DRC officials get tough on rumour mill", Mail & Guardian, November 3, 2006</ref> a decision analogous to the unscheduled prerelease that took place during the first round. On November 6, results from 12 of 169 constituencies showed Kabila in the lead. <ref>"Early Election Results Released to Dispel Rumours in Strife-Torn DR Congo - UN", United Nations, November 6, 2006</ref> On November 8, the two candidates met and issued calls for calm. The meeting came as accusations from Bemba's coalition were directed against the CEI for skewing the results in favour of Kabila, a claim dismissed by a CEI official as false and inflammatory. <ref>"DRC presidential candidates meet", Independent Online, November 8, 2006</ref>

On November 10, with votes from 112 of 169 constituencies counted and with a voter turnout of about 67 percent, Kabila was leading with about 60 percent of the votes. <ref>Kabila maintains lead in DRC presidential vote", Mail & Guardian, November 11, 2006</ref>

[edit] Clashes in Kinshasa (2nd round)

On November 11, a shootout took place for several hours after police had fired shorts in the air to disperse Bemba's supporters who demonstrated nearby Bemba's residence in Kinshasa to protest vote counting during the run-off. The shooting ceased after MONUC mediated a meeting between representatives of the two groups. At least four people were reported to have died in the clashes. <ref>"Calm returns to DRC capital after election-related violence", People's Daily, November 12, 2006</ref> On November 13, DRC police arrested 337 people, including 87 children, suspected to have been involved in the November 11 clashes. <ref>"DRC: Police arrest 337 over Kinshasa clashes", Reuters November 13, 2006</ref>

[edit] Partial results contested by Bemba

On November 14, Bemba rejected the results of the election,<ref>"DRC's Bemba rejects results showing Kabila win", Mail & Guardian, November 14, 2006</ref> which showed Kabila with 60 to Bemba's 40 percent, with 90 percent of the votes (159 out of 169 constituencies) having been counted. Bemba's supporters stated that "the Union for the Nation will not accept an electoral hold-up that aims to steal victory from the Congolese people", and that they were not bound by their promise to accept the results if they thought there was electoral fraud.<ref>"Bemba rejects DR Congo poll loss", BBC News, 14 November 2006</ref> Bemba's UFN coalition maintained he was leading with 52 to Kabila's 48 percent. <ref>"DRC: Partial data shows Bemba leads in elections", Spero News, November 14, 2006</ref>

[edit] Interim results (2nd round)

The results released by the CEI on November 15 and were confirmed by the Supreme Court on November 27.

province registered voters voted part. invalid empty counting Bemba Kabila
Kinshasa 2,950,884 1,685,250 57.11% 27,082 23,492 1,650,276 1,122,231 528,045
Lower-Congo 1,227,775 633,463 51.59% 19,438 3,807 610,218 452,409 157,809
Bandundu 2,925,126 1,480,921 50.63% 26,580 4,541 1,449,400 877,560 571,840
Equator 2,923,680 2,468,917 84.45% 20,961 6,067 2,441,889 2,372,326 69,563
Oriental 3,241,423 2,069,325 63.84% 66,909 21,332 1,981,084 406,532 1,574,552
North Kivu 2,451,475 1,888,975 77.05% 33,842 13,100 1,842,033 65,373 1,776,660
South Kivu 1,651,262 1,388,001 84.06% 20,487 3,545 1,363,969 23,115 1,340,854
Maniema 626,327 502,487 80.23% 4,525 1,256 496,706 8,296 488,410
Katanga 3,473,936 2,625,458 75.58% 31,380 7,725 2,586,353 161,378 2,424,975
East Kasai 1,975,430 842,926 42.67% 14,219 3,823 824,884 556,088 268,796
West Kasai 2,010,405 1,033,756 51.42% 20,746 3,221 1,009,789 774,514 235,275
Total 25,420,199 16,615,479 65.36% 286,369 72,509 16,256,601 6,819,822 9,436,779
% total 41.95% 58.05%

[edit] Interim results contested by Bemba

On November 17, Bemba told reporters that he rejects the interim results, citing irregularities. He said that he "cannot accept the results that are far from reflecting the truth of the election results," and that he would "use all the legal channels to respect the will of our people." <ref>"DRC: Bemba rejects poll results", Reuters, November 17, 2006</ref> Bemba, on November 18, filed a complaint to the Supreme Court over his claims of electoral irregularities. A member of his UFN coalition had said that: "there were many, many irregularities. It was not at all democratic. We are confident the supreme court will correct the result." <ref>"DRC loser goes to supreme court", News24, November 18, 2006</ref>

[edit] Supreme Court fire

Image:DRC SupremeCourt fire.JPG
Smoke rises from the Supreme Court building (IRIN)

On November 21, part of the Supreme Court building was burned down amid gunfire during a session in which the Court was reviewing an electoral fraud complaint. No casualties were reported. The direct cause for the fire was unclear, but it followed a demonstration by Bemba supporters who were seeking entry into the building. According to Interior Minister Denis Kalume, "armed men who infiltrated the demonstrators opened fire on the police and from then everything went haywire." MONUC, who evacuated judges, lawyers, and CEI officials from the building, attributed the incident to "uncontrolled elements." <ref name="IRIN1">"DRC: Part of the Supreme Court burnt amid gunshots", IRIN, November 21, 2006</ref> On November 22, it was announced that the Supreme Court would be relocated to several parts of the capital, and possibly, the country. <ref>"DRC: Supreme Court to be relocated after fire", Reuters, November 22, 2006</ref> The South African observation mission and the Carter Center both expressed approval of the second round.<ref name="IRIN1"/><ref>"DRC Supreme Court burns after election clashes", Mail & Guardian, November 21, 2006</ref> Bemba's coalition lawyer Delly Sesanga, however, argued in favour of "the cancellation of the poll" due to "too many irregularities."<ref name="IRIN1"> Tensions remained high after the DRC army surrounded Bemba's compund in Kinshasa. <ref>"Tension still high in the DRC", South African Broadcasting Corporation, November 22, 2006</ref>

[edit] Kabila issues ultimatum to Bemba

On November 23, about 50 soliders of Bemba's security detail in Kinshasa, estimated at 600-to-1,000 soldiers,<ref>"First Bemba troops moved from tense Congo capital", Reuters, November 23, 2006</ref><ref name="indp1">"Bemba's military force reduced in DRC", Independent Online, November 23, 2006</ref> left his residence there and were moved to one in Maluku following pressure by Kabila for Bemba to move some, or all,<ref>Little detail is available on Kabila's letter to Bemba where these demands were listed.</ref> of his troops within 48 hours. <ref>"Bemba troops start to leave DRC capital", People's Daily, November 23, 2006</ref><ref>"Some of Bemba's soldiers moved from Kinshasa as deadline looms", The Star, November 24, 2006</ref> A Kabila official, however, said that this was "absolutely not an ultimatum." Another 100 of Bemba's troops were expected to leave the capital later in the day. <ref name="indp1"/> On November 24, the "ultimatum" expired with few, if any, additional Bemba troops removed from the capital. This made it increasingly likely that Kabila would order the DRC army, which continued to surround Bemba's compound, to remove Bemba's soliders itself. Such an act would greatly increase the likelihood for further armed confrontations. <ref>"Accept Congo results", New Vision, November 24, 2006</ref> MONUC has said that, if needed, its peacekeepers will help the DRC army to enforce the ultimatum. <ref>"UN says it will support Congolese troops enforcing Kinshasa ultimatum if needed", United Nations, November 24, 2006</ref>

[edit] Offensive by Nkunda in Sake

On November 25, forces loyal to General Laurent Nkunda engaged more than 2,000 soliders against the DRC army 11th Brigade around the town of Sake (near Goma), Nord-Kivu. Three soldiers and three civilians were killed, and close to 20 people were wounded. MONUC has sent 1,000 soldiers to secure the area. According to UN, "'15 000 and 20 000 people had been displaced by the fighting.'" MONUC spokesperson said that by morning "there were still some shots, but calm was mostly restored," and that Nkunda forces had retreated back and "all of the 11th Brigades's positions are under control," <ref>"Top DRC court to rule on presidential challenge", Mail & Guardian, November 26, 2006</ref><ref>"Congo Warlord's Fighters Attack Forces", Washington Post, November 26, 2006</ref> On November 26, MONUC reported that it had clashed with Nkunda's forces who were moving toward Goma, stating: "we fired warning shots from attack helicopters and our troops on the ground have engaged them in Sake." <ref>"UN says engages rebels as army flees Congo town", Reuters, November 26, 2006</ref> It was later suggested that the attack may not have been related to the election, but rather, was in reaction to the "killing of a Tutsi civilian who was close to one of the commanders in this group." The UN called on the DRC government to negotiate with Nkunda and on November 27, DRC Interior Minister, General Denis Kalume, was sent to eastern DRC to begin negotiations.<ref>"UN Calls for Negotiations in Eastern DRC", Voice of America, November 27, 2006</ref> Sporadic fire was still reported on November 29.<ref>"DRC: Sporadic fighting continues near Sake", IRIN, November 29, 2006</ref>

[edit] Result (2nd round)

On November 24, three days after the fire, the Supreme Court resumed its activities in a small, heavily-guarded room in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bemba lawyers, however, questioned the impartiality and number of judges involved, arguing that too many of them favour Kabila. Bemba's lead attorney Jean-Marie Tshibangu stated that: "it is not the competence of the court but the competence of its composition that we are challenging."<ref>"Congo court resumes election case as deadlines loom", Reuters, November 24, 2006</ref> On November 26, presiding judge Kalonda Kele said a ruling over Bemba's challenge would be announced the next day.<ref>"DRC court to announce ruling on Bemba challenge Monday", The News International, November 26, 2006</ref>

[edit] Supreme Court ruling

On November 27, the Supreme Court dismissed Bemba's challenge as "unfounded" and confirmed that Kabila had won the election, stating that: "Mr Kabila Kabange, Joseph, is proclaimed president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, elected by absolute majority." <ref>"Congolese court dismisses Bemba challenge", Independent Online, November 27, 2006</ref><ref>"DRC Supreme Court confirms J. Kabila as President", MONUC, November 27, 2006</ref>

[edit] Aftermath

After being declared winner, Kabila hinted that Bemba will play a role in the new government, stating that "the effort now must be nation building, it must be reconstruction. The government that will be put in place will be a government of coalition." <ref>"Ex-guerrilla Kabila wins Congo ballot box mandate", Reuters, November 27, 2006</ref> Bemba, who boycotted the hearings after the Supreme Court refused to consider further challenges over alleged "systematic cheating", was not immediately available for comment.<ref>"Congo Court declares Kabila president", Reuters, November 27, 2006</ref> On 28 November, Bemba released a statement saying that while he condemns the ruling, he accepts the results and is prepared to lead a "strong republican opposition in the interests of the nation".<ref>"Bemba accepts DR Congo poll loss", BBC News, 28 November 2006</ref><ref>"DRC: Bemba condemns poll ruling but ready to lead opposition", Reuters, November 29, 2006</ref>

[edit] References


[edit] External links

fr:Élection présidentielle congolaise de 2006

Democratic Republic of the Congo general election, 2006

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