Opposition to protest use of voting machines ahead of election in DR Congo

Opposition to protest use of voting machines ahead of election in DR Congo

Today, mass protests will begin throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in opposition to the government’s proposal to use

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Photo: Reuters

Today, mass protests will begin throughout the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in opposition to the government’s proposal to use allegedly faulty electronic voting machines presidential elections slated for December.

While government officials insist the election—which has been delayed for two years—will be free and fair, there is serious concern about freedom of speech and freedom of political communication. The UN Human Rights Council has reported that previous demonstrations have been oppressed, suggesting today’s protests may be silenced too.

The prospects of a successful election depend on several variables, including whether the election meets its December 23 deadline and whether votes for opposition candidates, currently fairly popular amongst Congolese voters, are accurately recorded. Expect the international community to punish any shortcomings of the election with sanctions on President Joseph Kabila’s family and loyalists, who are largely blamed for the country’s descent into chaos.

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