Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Congo delays announcing results of presidential election

Congo delays announcing results of presidential election

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders has warned of the possible imposition of sanctions against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by the worldwide community over a delay in announcing the results of the country's presidential and parliamentary elections.

Corneille Nangaa told The Associated Press that the results of the December 30 election will not be made public Sunday as expected.

Electoral commission authorities claimed the snail-pace vote counting was due to the requirement that only manually counted ballots could be used.

The postponement in announcing the results is expected to increase tensions in Congo.

The church, a powerful voice in the heavily Catholic nation, earlier said its data show a clear victor.

Tallying centers in Kinshasa began compiling results on Friday with only 20 per cent of the results being received by the electoral commission. In yesterday's meeting, France pushed for the publication of a statement that recognised that Congo's election allowed people to exercise their democratic right and called for calm, but criticised the government's decision to cut access to the Internet and some media outlets.

A negative or cautionary global reaction could be problematic for Kabila whose government has defended the election's organisation, and could weaken the legitimacy of Kabila's hand picked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, should he be declared victor.

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US President Donald Trump informed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that about 80 military personnel and "appropriate combat equipment" had been deployed to neighboring Gabon to support the security of US citizens and staffers and diplomatic facilities, the Military Times reported on Sunday. "We are making progress, but we do not have everything yet", Corneille Nangaa said, without announcing a new date.

DRC has never known a peaceful transition of power since its hasty independence from Belgium in 1960.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo's sheer size, its political history and its myriad problems are all reasons why observers have followed its election so closely. Prior to the DRC's long-awaited elections the U.S. ordered "non-emergency" government employees and family members to leave the country.

Lamuka coalition leader Felix Fayulu debunked the SADC position saying the poll was deliberately disorganised to favour the ruling party candidate.

At stake is a vast country rich in the minerals that power the world's mobile phones and laptops, yet desperately underdeveloped.

Kabila, who is stepping down after 18 years in power, had delayed the election for two years. That has led many Congolese to suspect he will rule from the shadows if Shadary takes office.

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