068_Global12_InFocus_DRC_V8

Global issue 12

In FocusThe Democratic Republic of Congo In the balance A contested election result and a controversial change to the constitution have called into question the legitimacy of Joseph Kabila’s presidency and sparked a resurgence of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern provinces, writesCaleb Kabanda On 28 November 2011, the Democratic Re- cluding the African Union, expressed satis- as the head of state.” Tshisekedi has gone so public of Congo held only its second ever faction with the conduct of the poll. far as to unilaterally declare himself presi- presidential election since independence The opposition Union for Democracy and dent. Members of most other Congolese op- from Belgium in 1960. Joseph Kabila, Social Progress (UDPS) still maintains that position parties are of the same opinion. the incumbent, was returned to office. In its candidate, Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mu- Upon first taking office in 2006, Kabila 2006, five years after the assassination of lumba, who secured 32 percent of the bal- outlined a five-point plan to develop Congo. his father Laurent (then president), Kabila lots cast according to CENI, is the real win- The challenges the new president planned had come to power in an electoral process ner. Valentin Mubake, a political adviser to to tackle during his five-year term were deemed free and fair by the international Tshisekedi, toldGlobal, “He will take over rebuilding the dilapidated national road in- community. This time round, however, there is a widely shared consensus that Ka- Viewp int bila’s victory was not legitimate. Jean-Pierre Lisanga Bonganga, National President of the Christian Even though the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the Su- Democratic Convention (CCD) and moderator of the Forces Acquises au preme Court declared Kabila the winner with Changement, a Congolese opposition group 49 percent of the votes, a number of elec- toral observation missions, including those The Democratic Republic of Congo is facing a serious problem of legitimacy after the of the Carter Center, the European Union, November 2011 elections. The elections were badly organised and there have been a the Catholic Church and a coalition of 140 lot of contestations. The legitimacy doesn’t only concern the presidential elections but Congolese non-governmental organisations, also the legislative elections as well. There is only one way to solve this legitimacy identified serious irregularities and instances issue: a sincere and frank dialogue that must be made with the involvement of the of fraud during the elections. However, ob- international community. servers from five African organisations, in- Credit: MONUSCO photo Election banners in the N’djili commune, Kinshasa 68 lwww.global-briefing.org fourth quarter 2012global


Global issue 12
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