No Matter Who Wins the Congo's Election, a Rough Road Awaits

Jan 7, 2019 | 22:14 GMT

A man leaves a polling place in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as election workers sign a printout of voting machine results on Dec. 31, 2018, the day after balloting was held in the country's presidential election.

A man leaves as witnesses at a polling station in Kinshasa sign a printout of a electronic voting machine results on December 31, 2018, a day after the presidential elections.


While much remains in the air, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's postelection crisis might be headed in two distinct directions, both of which are fraught with the possibility of violence. First, it's possible that the electoral commission -- under pressure from the Kabila government -- will name Kabila's hand-picked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, the election winner. This would set up a deadly confrontation pitting on one side the Roman Catholic Church, civil society groups, political opposition and others against the organs of the state on the other. In another possible outcome (but less likely given the pressure on the electoral commission to protect the Kabila system), an opposition victory could be announced. Should an opposition victory unfold, it is likely that the Kabila government would try to find some way to delegitimize the election results. It could, for example, push claims of fraud and pressure state institutions to order another...

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