Monday, June 24, 2024

DR Congo defers elections in key volatile regions

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Election management officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say elections cannot take place in some regions considered very volatile.

The elections to be held on December 30 were originally delayed from December 23. This was after the electoral commission (CENI) said it was unable to organise the ballot on time for the poll.

Problems with vote materials led to protests in the capital Kinshasa.  The delay has already heightened tension in the country.

On Wednesday election officials said holding elections in volatile zones, including conflict-ridden Beni will be difficult. Elections in these areas are expected to now take place in March of next year.

A statement from the election commission said “The elections in the Beni region and the cities of Beni and Butembo in North Kivu province as well as Yumbi in the (southwest) Mai-Ndombe province initially scheduled for December 30 will now be held in March.”

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Beni and Butembo in the east continue to battle with the Ebola outbreak. Yumbi in the west has also witnessed ethnic violence in the past days with more than 100 people reportedly killed.

The election commission however said voting will take place elsewhere in on Sunday as planned.

Should voting take place on Sunday, final results for the presidential election will be announced on January 15 and the new president sworn in on January 18.

That means votes in the presidential election in the volatile areas to be held in March will not be factored into the presidential results.

Elections in DR Congo have already been delayed several times. The elections are supposed to be the first time the country is to witness a peaceful transfer of power through an election.

The elections will take place without President Joseph Kabila which was supposed to ease tension.





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