Presidential election in the DRC: very partial results give Félix Tshisekedi well in the lead

The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continued on Monday, December 25, to broadcast the still very partial results of the presidential elections of December 20 and 21, which put more than 80% of voters in the lead

Presidential election in the DRC: very partial results give Félix Tshisekedi well in the lead

The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continued on Monday, December 25, to broadcast the still very partial results of the presidential elections of December 20 and 21, which put more than 80% of voters in the lead. voice, the outgoing head of state Félix Tshisekedi. The results announced so far relate to 1,876,827 voters, out of a total of nearly 44 million registered voters in the huge country of around 100 million inhabitants.

At this stage of the vote count, Félix Tshisekedi, in power since the beginning of 2019 and candidate for a second five-year term, achieves a score of 81.4% according to the CENI. Followed by businessman and former governor of Katanga (south-east) Moïse Katumbi (15.18%) and the other opponent Martin Fayulu (1.2%). The twenty other candidates who were in the running, notably the Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege, did not reach 1%.

Multiple logistical problems

The CENI has not established the participation rate but has decided to gradually release since Friday the results of the presidential election, organized at the same time as the legislative, provincial and local elections, for which the results will be published later.

The quadruple poll was scheduled for one day, December 20, but was extended due to multiple logistical problems, officially for one day but until Christmas in some remote areas. Opposition candidates denounced from the first day the “chaos” and “irregularities” which, according to them, marred the vote.

Some are planning a demonstration for next Wednesday, others are calling for the elections to be canceled outright. The Catholic Archbishop of Kinshasa, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, described the elections as a “gigantic disorder” on Sunday evening during his Christmas mass.

Like around fifteen embassies before him, the prelate called for "caution and restraint", in a country with a turbulent political history often marked by violence, with a subsoil immensely rich in minerals but with a population mostly poor.

In addition to the suspicion of opponents since the start of the electoral process, the campaign was poisoned by the security situation in eastern DRC, which has been experiencing a peak of tension for two years with the resurgence of the M23 rebellion, supported by Rwanda.