War of words erupts over DRC’s divisive election

DRC flag

DRC flag

from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) RELATIONS are strained between electoral authorities and the Catholic Church, as well as between the government and the United Nations (UN) days after the publication of election results in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This marks escalating tensions after the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced opposition leader Félix Tshisekedi as the winner, a result disputed by fellow opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, and the influential Catholic Church.

Divisions have been evident in a just-concluded Security Council meeting held following the announcement.

Corneille Yobeluo, CENI President, accused the National Episcopal
Conference of Congo, the assembly of Catholic bishops, of conducting
itself as if it was working on behalf of Fayulu’s Engagement for
Citizenship and Development.

Yobeluo argued the Catholic Church also disputed 2006 and 2011 votes, which outgoing president, Joseph Kabila, won.

Marcel Tapa, National Episcopal Conference president, dismissed
accusations of the church’s bias. He said the organisation was independent of political parties.

Tapa challenged CENI to publish data from each polling station. Fayulu has approached the courts seeking a recount.

“Doing so will dispel any doubts about the results and put minds at rest,” Tapa said.

Ignace wa Lufuta, DRC’s envoy to the UN, meanwhile warned the
international community against making post-poll demands which he said would compromise democracy in DRC.

He accused the UN mission of collaborating with armed groups to free recruited children yet government was trying to eradicate the same groups.

Humanitarian groups reported hundreds of refugees had crossed into Uganda in the aftermath of the elections.

The United States has deployed some 80 military personnel to Gabon in response to the possibility of violent demonstrations in DRC.

“The US stands prepared to hold accountable those who undermine the democratic process,” said Jonathan Cohen, the country’s envoy to the UN.

– CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=29314

Posted by on Jan 14 2019. Filed under Africa & World, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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