Warning of ‘Fictitious’ Election Results Online, Congo Cuts Internet for 2nd Day

Warning of ‘Fictitious’ Election Results Online, Congo Cuts Internet for 2nd Day

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo — The Democratic Republic of Congo’s authorities reduce web connections and SMS companies throughout the nation for a second straight day on Tuesday because the nation nervously awaited outcomes from the weekend’s chaotic presidential election.

Each the opposition and ruling coalition mentioned on Monday they had been on observe to win after a turbulent Election Day on Sunday, by which many Congolese had been unable to vote due to an Ebola outbreak, conflict and logistical problems.

Barnabé Kikaya bin Karubi, a senior adviser to President Joseph Kabila, mentioned web and SMS companies had been reduce to protect public order after “fictitious outcomes” started circulating on social media.

“That might lead us straight towards chaos,” Mr. Karubi mentioned, including the connections would stay reduce till the publication of full outcomes on Jan. 6.

The sign to Radio France Internationale (R.F.I.), one of the standard information sources in Congo, was additionally down, and the federal government withdrew the accreditation of R.F.I.’s major correspondent within the nation late Monday for having aired unofficial outcomes from the opposition.

The varied strikes mirrored excessive tensions in Congo, the place the long-delayed election was meant to decide on a successor to Mr. Kabila, who’s set to step down next month after 18 years in energy — and two years after the official finish of his mandate.

Congo has by no means seen a democratic switch of energy, and a disputed final result may result in a repeat of the violence that adopted elections in 2006 and 2011, and a wider safety breakdown in its unstable jap provinces.

The opposition mentioned the election was marred by fraud and accused Mr. Kabila of planning to rule from the sidelines by means of his most well-liked candidate, the previous inside minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

Inner United Nations experiences famous allegations of irregularities throughout the nation. In some elements of jap Congo’s North Kivu Province, for instance, militia fighters reportedly pressured voters to pick out candidates from the ruling coalition, they mentioned.

Somewhere else, the United Nations obtained experiences that safety forces had intimidated voters to decide on ruling coalition candidates.

The federal government and nationwide electoral fee mentioned the election was honest and that any issues had been minor.

Within the jap metropolis of Goma, residents had been on edge as they awaited the outcomes.

“If the outcomes in the course of the publication of the presidential outcomes don’t replicate the reality,” mentioned Fabrice Shweka, a Goma resident, “bother will get away throughout the town.”

The primary partial outcomes had been initially anticipated on Tuesday however an electoral fee spokesman, Jean-Pierre Kalamba, mentioned that they’d not be prepared till round Friday.

“We don’t need to launch too many voting tendencies as a result of in our nation we don’t have a inhabitants that has the identical understanding” of electoral practices as in Europe, he mentioned.

In a press release late on Monday, the embassies of america and a number of other different international locations referred to as for calm and urged the federal government to revive web entry.

Mr. Shadary confronted off in Sunday’s ballot towards two major opposition challengers, Félix Tshisekedi and Martin Fayulu. Earlier than the vote, opinion polls confirmed each working forward of Mr. Shadary.

Mr. Fayulu complained in a press release on Monday about irregularities throughout Sunday’s vote however mentioned he was inspired by the dedication of Congolese to vote, regardless of lengthy queues and voting machines that broke down.

“I name for vigilance throughout the board and the final mobilization of all Congolese in order that the reality of the poll field, the only real witness to the desire of the Congolese folks, can reward their efforts and sacrifices,” he mentioned.

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