'Major' irregularities with DR Congo vote count: Poll observers

Congo-based SYMOCEL says it had witnessed 52 'major' irregularities in the 101 of 179 vote-counting centres it observed.

    'Major' irregularities with DR Congo vote count: Poll observers
    The electoral commission on Sunday delayed releasing the election results indefinitely [File: Baz Ratner/Reuters]

    An observer mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election said it had witnessed 52 "major" irregularities in the 101 vote-counting centres it observed, including people tampering with results.

    There are 179 counting centres currently tallying the vote across the DRC.

    The report released on Tuesday by Congo-based SYMOCEL said 16 percent of vote counting centres it had observed relied on tallies transmitted by voting machines instead of hand-counted tallies as required by law.

    It also said 92 percent of the vote-counting centres it had observed did not post vote tally sheets outside as required by law.

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    Meanwhile, an opposition party said its leader was the "presumed winner" of the December 30 poll adding that Felix Tshisekedi has had contact with departing President Joseph Kabila "to prepare a peaceful and civilized transfer of power".

    Kabila adviser Kikaya Bin Karubi, however, on Tuesday denied any such contact.

    The statements by UDPS party Secretary-General Jean-Marc Kabund appeared to go against electoral regulations that say only Congo's electoral commission can announce election results.

    The UDPS also warned that the commission could be delaying the announcement of the December 30 election results in a bid to manipulate the outcome.

    The electoral commission on Sunday delayed it indefinitely.

    A spokesman for the ruling coalition rejected the accusation, asking "Why would we have to steal?".

    Meanwhile, the Zambian presidency said in a statement on Tuesday President Edgar Lungu is travelling to South Africa on Tuesday for an "urgent consultative meeting" with President Cyril Ramaphosa about DR Congo's presidential election.

    Martin Fayulu, an opposition presidential candidate for Lamuka coalition, warned electoral authorities not to "disguise the truth of the polls".

    "The Congolese people already know the result," he said, warning against political tensions.

    Fayulu accused the electoral commission of knowing the "real results", saying it had "deliberately abstained from making them public in violation of its own timetable for unacknowledged reasons."

    "The election results are not negotiable," Fayulu said, also speaking on behalf of five other minor candidates.

     

    SOURCE: News agencies