KINSHASHA – The electoral commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo has announced that Provisional results from the long-delayed presidential election in the country could be pushed back past Sunday’s deadline as ballots trickle in and tensions prevail over the vote count.
The EC had announced Sunday 6 January, a day to release provisional results of the presidential elections that took place on Sunday 30 December.
According to the electoral commission, by Wednesday counting centres had received just 17 percent of the tally sheets drawn up by individual polling stations.
The president of the CENI electoral commission, Corneille Nangaa, without revealing the reason for the delays of provisional results said they are trying to make sure results are out within a few days.
“We are working around the clock. We are doing our best to publish the results on January 6. But if we can’t, we can’t,” Nangaa said.
The Election monitors from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) assured that the December 30 vote “went relatively well” despite chaotic scenes that prevented many from voting.
However, more than a million Congolese in three opposition strongholds of Beni, Butembo, and Yumbe were unable to vote due to an Ebola outbreak in their areas.
Vital Kamerhe, a spokesperson for Felix Tshisekedi, one of the opposition candidates, says he doesn’t mind when the results are to be published as long as they are an honest reflection of the vote.
“Whether it’s on Sunday or Monday, Tuesday, we don’t mind. What we want are results published that reflect the truth of the ballot boxes, which is the most important thing,” he said
He added saying “I doubt it will be Sunday, because some corners of the country have not transmitted their results, but I can’t speak for the commission,”
These elections will determine the successor of President Joseph Kabila who has ruled Congo for nearly 18 years as he refused to step down after his two-term constitutional limit ended in 2016.
However Pre-election polling showed Kabila’s preferred candidate, Ex-interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, trailing the main opposition candidates, Martin Fayulu and Tshisekedi, but both sides say they expect to win.