Congo gov­ern­ment yet to re­veal who won pres­i­den­tial elec­tion Dec. 30

StarMetro Edmonton - - BIG OPINIONS - Mathilde Boussion

KIN­SHASA, CONGO—Congo’s gov­ern­ment Sun­day post­poned the re­lease of the re­sults of last week­end’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, fu­elling sus­pi­cions Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila’s rul­ing party is try­ing to cling to power.

No date for an­nounc­ing the win­ner of the Dec. 30 elec­tion was given. Elec­toral of­fi­cials have com­piled 53 per cent of the votes and will not re­lease any in­for­ma­tion un­til all the bal­lots have been tal­lied, said Corneille Nan­gaa, head of the elec­toral com­mis­sion.

Ka­bila, step­ping down af­ter 18 years in power, had de­layed the elec­tion for two years. The post­pone­ment in an­nounc­ing the win­ner was seen by some Con­golese as part of an ef­fort by Ka­bila’s party to ma­nip­u­late the re­sults in or­der to claim vic­tory.

The Catholic Church turned up the pres­sure by say­ing it al­ready knows there is a clear vic­tor, based on data com­piled by the church’s 40,000 elec­tion ob­servers.

Congo’s rul­ing party, which backs Ka­bila’s pre­ferred can­di­date, Em­manuel Ra­mazani Shadary, called the church’s state­ment “ir­re­spon­si­ble and an­ar­chist.”

The lead­ing op­po­si­tion can­di­date is Mar­tin Fayulu, a busi­ness­man and law­maker.

For the past week, the gov­ern­ment An ex­hausted elec­toral of­fi­cial rests as re­sults are tal­lied for the elec­tion.

cut off in­ter­net ac­cess across the coun­try to pre­vent any spec­u­la­tion on so­cial me­dia about who won.

The gov­ern­ment has also blocked trans­mis­sions from Ra­dio France In­ter­na­tional, al­leged to have spec­u­lated on

the win­ner, and re­voked the press cre­den­tials of RFI’s cor­re­spon­dent.

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