DR Congo annuls vote results for three ministers over fraud

Katumbi, Tshisekedi

The organisation of the elections were widely criticised as chaotic. By JOHN WESSELS (AFP)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s election authority has annulled recent election results for three government ministers and four provincial governors, citing fraud and voter intimidation.

The electoral commission Ceni stated late on Friday it had cancelled all ballots cast for 82 election candidates in the central African nation.

Three sitting government ministers are on the list, as well as four provincial governors — including the governor of the capital province Kinshasa.

The announcement comes after an election last month that was marred by bureaucratic chaos, and which the Congolese political opposition has rejected.

On December 20, impoverished but mineral-rich DRC held simultaneous votes to choose the president, lawmakers for national and provincial assemblies, and local councillors.

Disarray and massive delays pushed the electoral commission Ceni to extend the vote by one day. Some observers noted that voting continued in some remote areas until December 27.

On Friday, Ceni annulled the results of several prominent political figures due to fraud, acts of vandalism, voter intimidation and illegal possession of voting machines.

Antoinette Kipulu Kabenga, minister for vocational training, featured on the annulled list, as did regional-integration minister Didier Mazenga Mukanzu and Nana Manuanina Kihimba, a minister in the president’s office.

Four provincial governors also featured on the list, including the head of Kinshasa province, Gentiny Ngobila.

A Ceni spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

The electoral commission has only released results from the presidential election so far.

Incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi won the presidential race by a landslide 73 percent of the votes, according to provisional results, which the Constitutional Court is expected to confirm this month.

Leading Congolese opposition politicians have rejected the election as a sham, however, citing irregularities and delays, and called for a re-run.

Church leaders in the country, who deployed their own election observers, noted numerous cases of irregularities and urged an investigation, but fell short of declaring the election fraudulent.


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