🔒 EVIDENCE! DRC election results rigged in massive fraud – FT

EDINBURGH — The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which suffers from widespread corruption and continuing conflict, is an important trading partner for South Africa. About 20% of foreign goods and services come from South Africa, while South African companies have also invested heavily in the mining sector. Glencore, run by South African Ivan Glasenberg, has been particularly conspicuous in the DRC of late as it is in US government crosshairs in connection with graft. Hopes that the DRC can overcome many of its challenges through the next president have been dashed by allegations that the country has just experienced what looks like its worst electoral fraud in living memory. The scandal is a reminder that deep-seated corruption is very hard to shake and is not only a game that a ruling party can play. – Jackie Cameron

By Thulasizwe Sithole

The people of the Democratic Republic of Congo may have just experienced one of the biggest electoral frauds in recent history, reports the Financial Times.

The country’s electoral commission last week announced opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi as the winner of a historic election marking the end of President Joseph Kabila’s 18 years in power, but a Financial Times analysis of two separate collections of voting data shows that he didn’t win. 

“At 3am Kinshasa time on January 10, the commission told bleary-eyed Congolese that the tallies of the main candidates were as follows: Mr Tshisekedi had 38.6%, rival opposition leader Martin Fayulu 34.8% and ruling party pick Emmanuel Shadary 23.8%.

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“According to the election data seen by the FT, representing 86% of total votes cast across the country, the outcome was very different. Mr Fayulu won 59.4% of the vote, the data shows, while Mr Tshisekedi should have finished a distant second with 19% and Mr Shadary polling at 18%,” says the London-headquartered pink paper.

“The FT compared the figures to a separate set of voting results collected manually by the country’s respected Catholic Church, which ran the biggest election observation mission. The two sets correlated almost exactly and would have been near impossible to fake, experts said.”

The group of Catholic bishops, known as the CENCO, has been outspoken since the vote, points out the FT.

“Five days after the election, it said voters has expressed “a clear choice at the ballot box” and called on the electoral commission to accurately report the result.

“Privately it told diplomats that Mr Fayulu was in an unassailable lead and after Mr Tshisekedi was declared the victor, it told the UN Security Council that the commission’s result did not match its own tallies. Those tallies, representing 43% of turnout and collected by hand from 28,733 polling points, were seen by the FT and show that Mr Fayulu secured 62.8% of this sample of votes,” it reports.

“By contrast, it points out, the figures in the leaked data are electronic tallies from 62,716 voting machines across the country and were said to have been obtained from the electoral commission’s central database before the results were announced. 

“The electoral commission introduced the untested electronic voting machines in Congo for the first time in December, claiming the devices would help to reduce costs,” says the FT.