The December 30, 2018 general elections in Democratic Republic of Congo have continued to stir controversy over the results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission which declared Felix Tshisekedi winner of the fiercely contested polls.
This was contradictory to what many expected, especially as another opposition candidate; Martin Fayulu had led with a landslide judging by the pre-election data.
Also, many local and international observers had thought the candidate of the ruling Common Front for Congo (FCC), Emmanuel Shadary who was the successor anointed by outgoing president, Joseph Kabila would be favored by the commission.
According to the country’s electoral commission, Felix Tshisekedi amassed 38.5% of the vote, Martin Fayulu got 34.7% and Emmanuel Shadary scored 23.8% of the total votes cast.
In what will come as good music to the ears of Martin Fayulu and those in his camp, the world renowned Financial and Business analysis magazine, the Financial Times, which carried out a thorough analysis of two separate collections of voting data have revealed that the results announced by the electoral commission were rigged and completely contradictory to the election polls data available.
The Financial Times Analysis has also claimed that Martin Fayulu, not Felix Tshisekedi won the elections.
You will recall that Martin Fayulu who is heavily backed by the Catholic Church described the elections as a ‘coup’.
The analysis released by The Financial Times exposed a lot of electoral process, especially in the area of accreditation and vote counting.
DRC is experiencing a change in power for the first time in 18 years since Joseph Kabila took over the presidency of the country in January 2001.
There is an allegation of a possible agreement between Joseph Kabila and Felix Tshisekedi on a power deal in a bid by Kabila to indirectly cling on to power.
The Financial Times Analysis revealed that of the 86 per cent of total votes cast across the country, Mr Fayulu won 59.4 per cent of the vote. Rival opposition candidate Mr Tshisekedi, who was declared the surprise winner last week, finished second with 19 per cent, according to this set of data.
A FT analysis of a separate set of voting results collected manually by the Catholic Church’s 40,000 observers and representing 43 per cent of turnout shows that Mr Fayulu secured 62.8 per cent of this sample of votes.
Reacting to the report by Financial Times, Jason Stearns, director of the Congo Research Group at the Center on International Cooperation, a New York think-tank, who also reviewed the leaked data said:
“It is extremely difficult to believe. . . that tens of thousands of lines of data could have been fabricated on short notice to produce these results without signs of tampering.
“This highlights the need for a full, scrupulous audit of the election tallies.”
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The elections drama in DRC continues
Header Image Credit: Al Jazeera