By Gbenga Ojo, news/comment, January 19, 2019
What looks like a joke is now becoming a reality when the African Union (AU) shocked observers during the week by seeking for a hold to the final announcement of the presidential poll results after a turbulent election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Meanwhile the nation has hit back at the AU statement, adding that, the country had gone through wrinkle of a complicated situation in the past. What political analysts
It could be recall that last month’s long-delayed poll was marked by violence, irregularities, intimidation, delays, technical difficulties, uncertainty and common rumors that the government of longtime President Joseph Kabila would manipulate election results in his favor, so that the chosen main opposition, Felix Tshisekedi, leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) would emerge
However, On Friday, the U.N. Human
Rights Arm said that it had documented 34 killings and nearly 250
“arbitrary arrests” since provisional results were issued last week.
Those results sparked surprise and outrage, defying predictions and naming
opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi as the winner. That result contrasted with
predictions by research organizations and the Catholic Church that opposition
coalition candidate Martin Fayulu had won decisively.
In this quest,, Fayulu requested last week Saturday that the Constitutional Court order a recount. Electoral officials, whereas a new president will be inaugurated Jan. 22.
As the political drama continues, the African Union (AU) had quite be watchful and silent for a while now, but late Thursday, the continental body held an urgent meeting in Addis Ababa and released a statement. It read:
“The heads of state and government attending the meeting concluded that there were serious doubts on the conformity of the provisional results, as proclaimed by the National Independent Electoral Commission, with the votes cast,” the statement read. “Accordingly, the heads of state and government called for the suspension of the proclamation of the final results of the elections.” Indeed, trust DRC analyst, Stephanie Wolters of the Institute for Security Studies who emphatically said such strong words from AU were not often heard from the Union. Its election observer missions, in fact, often praise African polls that other observer missions have found to be troubled.
The AU’s decision “to ask for a suspension of the proclamation of the final results is really quite a departure. It’s a bold move,” she told VOA. “And I understand they’re going to be following up with a mission that will be visiting in the next few days, and I think it’s a very strong, unexpected move from the AU.” But the way it is now, seems that, the government reaction to AU statement may not hold water, as they reject such call
Analyst Claude Kabemba, who has long maintained that Congo’s neighbors, especially Rwanda, have outsized influence in Congolese politics, said he was still thinking through what he, too, thought was a surprising statement from the AU.
“Looking at what happened, it could seem to be a correct decision from a continental body like the AU,” he said. “But it raises questions because of the people who have decided, who took part in that decision. … What is the reason, the real reason behind such a decision?”
But if the government appeared to remain reluntant — by delaying or by nullifying the election — that would mean powerful leaders like Rwandan President Paul Kagame were behind the AU’s push, and that the organization meant business. It could also be recalled that Catholic church has over 40,0000 volunteers that participated in the election opposed the results, noting that the electoral body has promised the election results, and threatened to released real results. How this would play out is what the world await to see.
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