Congo-Kinshasa: UDPs Party Says Secured Five Provinces in Elections
Daniel Finnan29 November 2011
As votes are tallied and counted in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential elections the main opposition UDPS party told RFI on Tuesday that despite fraud they are confident of securing victory. Etienne Tshisekedi’s party says they have secured enough for a majority and do not want to see the vote annulled.
“I think we have five provinces,” says Ferdinand Nkashama, the Secretary of the UDPS’s Election Surveillance Commission. “After Kinshasa we have the two Kasai provinces, Kasai Orientale and Kasai Occidental. We have Bandundu, Bas-Congo, and we have a little bit of Province Orientale. I think it’s good for Tshisekedi to be next president of Congo,” he told RFI during an interview at the UDPS party headquarters.
Nkashama denies that Tshisekedi will not accept the result if incumbent president Joseph Kabila is re-elected. He says the UDPS will accept “anything people give to us.”
Justin, a young UDPS activist at the headquarters in Limete is not as willing to accept a possible defeat. He says that if the UDPS are not declared winners then “most of the Congolese people are going to do whatever”.
“People can see what is coming out of the polls and they can see that Tshisekedi is first everywhere,” he says. According to him, the international media is also to blame for not reporting the truth.
“When something bad happens in this country, we’re all going into the street to say that ‘we don’t want this’. But you people are not showing that the international community always says ‘Mr Kabila’s right, Mr Kabila’s right’,” he told RFI.
Throngs of people filled the party headquarters’ compound on Tuesday afternoon. Many were keen to explain events during the afternoon in an area of Limete called Kingabwa.
Lawyer Jerry Kambungu, another UDPS activist, described military police arriving at a polling station in the early afternoon. It was one of the sites which had had voting extended due to organisational problems on Monday. He claims the police were trying to bring marked ballots into the polling station, but the local population resisted.
“They used tear gas, intimidating the population so they could introduce the marked ballots,” Kambungu said.
He also claimed some members of the uniformed officers were Tanzanians speaking Swahili. Kambungu said he speaks Swahili and can identify different varieties from Rwanda or Tanzania. These claims are of course difficult to verify but RFI witnessed a video depicting tear gas being deployed.
The account is also consistent with a number of incidents witnessed with voters claiming that they were protecting their polling stations from interference or fraud. On Tuesday morning RFI visited the Ecole Dyavanga polling station in the Masina area of Kinshasa. The previous day voters had burnt a vehicle belonging to the electoral commission because they suspected malfeasance.
Nkashama, the Secretary of the UDPS’s Election Surveillance Commission, called the whole operation, from the election planning to the alleged fraud, “very, very bad”.