On November 28th 2011 the People of the Democratic Republic of the Congo went to the Polls to elect both their President and the lower house of Parliament. The act of casting ballots turned out be the least problematic element to this Election Cycle.
There were plenty of issues plaguing this cycle. Before the casting of a single vote there were concerns whether or not if the ballots and other materials would be delivered on time by the Electoral Commission. Afterwords during the vote tally serious issues arose. Among them were ballots going missing and the delay in the release of the count.
Various observers such as the Carter Center and the Roman Catholic Church have also released scathing reports about how this election was run. In fact the Catholic Church states that the DRC is now “A Country built on Treachery.” Not a good thing for any potential Aid Donor to hear especially when the incumbent was reelected.
The new Problem lies within Parliament.We have seen the reports from Independent Media stating that the Supporters of President Kabila has the largest bloc in Parliament. The UPDS is in second place. The total number of seats that the supporters of the President won is roughly 32% of the Parliament. (164 seats out of a possible 500.) So that means in order for any Legislation to be passed a Coalition May have to be formed in Parliament.
Although the idea of a Government of National Unity does sound feasable it may not work here in the DRC. There are at least 100 Political Parties that will be reportedly represented in the new Parliament. Of course there will be legal challenges regarding which candidate actually won that seat. So it appears that for the time being President Kabila may actually have to rule by decree.
Already we are hearing reports the the Opposition is calling for a General Strike to protest the results. Also there is a Press Report from the Institute for War and Peace Report concerning the Loyalty of FARDC at this time.
So it appears that these Elections were a sham designed to retain Joseph Kabila as President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. God Help the Congolese.