Mail and Guardian
The ruling coalition of President Alassane Ouattara looks set to sweep to victory in a parliamentary election in Côte d’Ivoire on Sunday, easing the new leader’s mammoth task of rebuilding a nation crippled by war.
The vote will mark the first time since 2000 that the West African country has been able to elect a Parliament. It is seen as a crucial step toward recovery after a decade of conflict and political turmoil.
“For the government, the challenge now is to complete this process, to end the crisis and show it will never happen again,” said Maurice Faye, an Ivorian political analyst.
Ouattara won presidential elections in November 2010 but was only able to take the reins of power in April after fighters backing him invaded the economic capital Abidjan and captured ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo, who had rejected the results. Read more…
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president, has called for elections next year to end a fragile coalition with the former opposition.
In an address to his ZANU-PF party’s annual convention in the city of Bulawayo on Thursday, 87-year-old Mugabe said he was confident his party would win the proposed polls.
“We’re saying time has come now to prepare for elections. We just have to have elections next year,” he said in a speech that lasted more than two hours. “Let’s go to an election so people can choose a government of their liking.”
Mugabe also used his address to denounce the so-called Arab Spring protests as a “Western intrusion on the African continent” and said he hoped early elections would ward off his co-ruling party’s western backers.
Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from the conference, said Mugabe played to the crowd with emotive language by making a connection between the western-aided revolution that swept through Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and his own domestic concerns. Read more…
By Jonny Hogg and David Lewis
KINSHASA (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila had an early lead in partial election results released on Friday, after a poll marred by confusion, violence and fraud allegations.
Veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is currently Kabila’s nearest challenger, according to the Reuters tally of official results released by the election commission for 15 percent of the country’s 63,000 polling stations.
Vote organisers released a selection of results early to counter a flood of false figures, currently circulating in text messages and on web pages, that have stoked tensions.
Hackers managed to publish fake results on the election commission’s official website that appeared to give Tshisekedi a strong lead.
“We’ve been hacked, these people are dishonest,” commission spokesman Matthieu Mpita said.
At least 18 people died in violence during the run-up to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s elections, with most shot dead by soldiers from Joseph Kabila’s presidential guard, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said earlier in the day. Read more…
African observers say the Democratic Republic of Congo’s elections have been “successful”, despite opposition calls for the polls to be annulled.
Five observer groups said that despite logistical problems, the political parties should accept the results.
Earlier, four opposition candidates said Monday’s polls should be cancelled because of widespread rigging.
Voting was extended into Wednesday in some areas where people have not been able to vote.
The BBC’s Christophe Pons in the capital, Kinshasa, says this includes an opposition stronghold in the city, where ballot papers had not arrived by Tuesday evening.
President Joseph Kabila was challenged by 10 candidates, including former ally Vital Kamerhe, who is among the candidates calling for the results to be annulled. Read more…
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. Read more…
KINSHASA (Reuters) – Officials began counting votes in Democratic Republic of Congo’s second post-war election overnight, after a polling day marred by confusion, violence and alleged fraud.
Organisers pushed ahead with the presidential and parliamentary elections in the vast Central African nation despite fears that logistical delays and complaints over the process would create a bitterly contested result.
President Joseph Kabila faces ten rivals, headed by veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi. About 18,500 people are running for 500 seats in parliament. Read more…
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s 2011 presidential elections will see 11 candidates from across the vast central African country vie for the country’s top job. They range from veteran opposition politicians to pastors, veterinary doctors and businessmen. The all-male list includes the son of former president Mobutu Sese Seko, the president of the Senate and a government minister. See where the candidates come from on our interactive map. Read more..
Mail and Guardian
As you drive into Kinshasa, the battle lines become clear. These are not potholes, they are large ponds of water where concrete gave in to time long ago, and cars and trucks and windowless, battered taxis have no option but to exist in a constant state of near collision.
One of the city’s poorest, most densely populated areas, Tshangu — called China by the locals — runs along the road, immersed in grey slippery mud, with the stench of dried fish and urine hanging thick in the wet air. Traders scrape by on a few dollars a month, selling peppers and onions and second-hand shoes next to rubbish piles that form small urban hills. Read more…
BANJUL (Reuters) – Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh will face two opponents in a November 24 presidential election after his rivals failed to agree on a single candidate, according to the list of candidates released on Thursday.
His challengers are Hamat Bah, who is running under the banner of the newly formed United Front, a coalition of four parties, and Ousainou Darboe, from the main opposition United Democratic Party.
Jammeh has ruled Gambia, a small West African nation and popular tourist destination, since seizing power in a 1994 coup.
He has since won three elections but he has frequently been accused of trying to muzzle the media and threatening human rights groups. He has also jailed several members of his inner circle in recent years over alleged coup plots.
In July Jammeh said neither an election nor a coup could remove him from power, and was so confident of winning that he would not need to take part in the 10 day campaign period between November 12 and 22. Read more…
Turnout in Liberia’s presidential run-off appears low following an opposition boycott over fraud claims and deadly clashes on Monday.
Opposition candidate Winston Tubman said he was pulling out of the vote, but the election commission urged Liberians to cast their ballots.
Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first elected female president, is now the only candidate.
A BBC reporter says her re-election will be tainted unless turnout is high.
The BBC’s Jonathan Paye-Layleh in central Monrovia says at the polling station where he was when voting began, just eight people were waiting to cast their ballots, compared to hundreds last month. Read more…