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Last Updated: 11/30/2011Living in Fear: Elections in DRC
Citizen and peace activist of the Democratic Republic of Congo
Jean-Pierre, citizen and peace activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, shares a first-hand account of this week's election-related violence in his country. Election results remain disputed among declarations of mass fraud and violence.
Two days after elections, the tension is high as some political parties have declared that there were cases of mass fraud with violence in many areas and people are still voting in other cities. The counting of the ballot papers started in most voting offices. For your information, there are 11 presidential candidates for one seat and more than 18,500 members of parliament candidates for only 500 seats. Few months ago, some NGOs raised the issue of postponing the elections for three months because the conditions were not safe and politicians were not ready for the elections, but the President Electoral Commission maintained to organise the Elections on the 28th of November.
During the campaign there were violence and killings in some provinces, like in Katanga, Kasai-Oriental, Kasai-Occidental. Violence reached its height saturday, the last day of the campaign, when more than 20 people were killed in the capital city, Kinshasa, and on the day of elections, in Lubumbashi more than that, and in other cities.
Some politicians, and mainly from the opposition parties, are declaring that theses elections are not safe because of brutality and other related fraud. This morning, while four of the presidential candidates have suggested to declare these elections void, and the principal opponent is declaring himself the winner at the same time, the current President is also declaring himself the winner. We are witnessing a cacophony.
It is a sign that the day of the proclamation of the results may be violent, as it has already started in some areas. People are living now in fear of the "D" day.
Jean-Pierre is a citizen and peace activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo.