06.12.2011 - 06.12.2011 31 °C
Today is Results Day.
After weeks of security planning, meetings and radio checks we were all ready to lock-down ahead of the election results today, and we headed to the supermarket on Saturday morning to do some last minute hibernation shopping. Imagine my surprise to be approached on the Boulevard 30 juin by a man offering to sell me print-outs of the election results. The CENI is not supposed to officially announce results until today but all weekend they have been releasing partial results from each province in an attempt to counter the false results being published by almost everyone. And it looks like President Kabila is coming out on top; 46% to Tshisekedi’s 36%, with Kamerhe in 3rd place with 7%, in the 60% of nation-wide results released. It seems to be much of the same as in 2006 with Kabila taking huge majorities in the Eastern Provinces of Katanga, North and South Kivu, Maniema and Orientale whilst Tshisekedi is winning by a comfortable margin in Kinshasa and East and West Kasai but not enough to counter Kabila’s overwhelming wins in the east.
Tshisekedi’s UDPS party have already said they do not accept the partial results as an accurate reflection of the will of the Congolese people and although President Kabila has said he would accept defeat he has also said that he ‘will not tolerate any threats to his power’ in the event that he does win. The international community is sufficiently worried. They have held meetings with the President and opposition at their homes to try to avoid widespread violence in Kinshasa, where Tshisekedi is expected to win a comfortable majority and his supporters are unlikely to take kindly to an overall Kabila win. The Catholic Church of Congo had 30,000 election observers at more than 25% of the voting centres throughout the country, more than any other observer missions, but have declined to release their own estimates from exit-polling saying ‘it is not their role’ – presumably because their observers, and the entire organisation, are Congolese not internationals, and have to live under whichever Government is eventually installed.
An estimated 3,000 Kinois have crossed over to River to the RoC side ahead of results, a curfew has been imposed in Mbuyi-Mayi, an opposition stronghold, to limit protests and units of the Republican Guard have been deployed in Lubumbashi, Katanga Province to keep order after 3 men were killed on Election Day.
The streets of Kinshasa are empty, for now.