President Tshisekedi well ahead of his 18 challengers in the latest provisional results in DRC Congo’s disputed election.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is gradually releasing preliminary results from the Dec. 20 presidential election following a chaotic vote and an unscheduled ballot extension that has led the opposition to demand a re-run.
Below are the latest figures from the election commission, known as the CENI, along with details about how the commission is counting votes and releasing its tally, and why critics are disputing the results.
The latest CENI update on Thursday showed President Felix Tshisekedi well ahead of his 18 challengers, with just over 76% of around 12.5 million votes counted so far.
Businessman Moise Katumbi and former energy executive Martin Fayulu stand in second and third place respectively with almost 17% and more than 4% of the vote.
The provisional tally so far is based on results from 46,422 out of almost 76,000 polling stations, according to the CENI.
The CENI set up a results centre in Kinshasa called Basolo – “Truth” in the Lingala language – from where it has issued updates on a near-daily basis since Dec. 22.
The commission refers to these results as trends and has not yet said how many of Congo’s 44 million registered voters participated in the election.
According to Congolese electoral law, results released by the CENI are meant to be based on tallies of the paper votes cast in each polling station that have been signed off by witnesses and observers.
This is meant to improve transparency and allow results to be easily double-checked if contested.
But the CENI president has told local media provisional results released so far have been based on a combination of such tallies and figures taken straight from voting machines.
In a report on the election released on Dec. 28, the main independent CENCO-ECC election monitoring group urged the CENI only to publish results based on correctly consolidated tallies from local centres.
Opposition presidential candidates say election day irregularities, including the CENI’s unscheduled extension of some voting beyond Dec. 20, have compromised the credibility of the results, calling for them to be annulled.
The CENCO-ECC observer mission and another local election monitoring group, which together deployed thousands of observers, have also highlighted issues on election day and during the vote count, they say throw the integrity of the results into question.
The CENI has acknowledged there were delays on election day but says it is still on track to deliver a free and fair vote.
The CENI is scheduled to release full provisional results from the presidential vote by Dec. 31.