Government bans protest against election – DW – 12/26/2023

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The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo banned protests called for by five opposition candidates against the outcome of the last week’s presidential vote.

Government opponents were due to protest alleged election irregularities on Wednesday in the capital Kinshasa. On Tuesday, however, the government said the event had no legal basis and aimed to undermine the electoral process.

“No government in the world can accept this, so we will not let it happen,” Vice Prime Minister Peter Kazadi told a press conference.

The government also said the election commission was still compiling results.Partial preliminary results suggest incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi is well ahead in the vote.

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Why was the protest canceled?

The election was marred with technical chaos, amid delays in poll openings that called for the vote to be extended, in rare cases until Monday.

Those calling for the protest have heavily criticized the vote, and especially the decision of the election commission (CENI) to extend voting at the polling stations that failed to open on the intended election day. They called for a full rerun of the vote.

“We will protest against the irregularities observed during voting,” they wrote.

CENI dismissed the concerns, suggesting that Tshisekedi won some 79% of around 3.2 million votes thus far counted. It has yet to reveal the number of voters who cast their ballots, of the DRC’s 44 million registered voters.

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Congo counting ballots following election delays

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rmt/dj (AFP, Reuters)

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