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DR Congo: Opposition leader Fayulu denounces “a violation of the electoral law”

Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu talks to the press after casting his vote at the Gombe Athenaeum, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023.   -  
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Samy Ntumba Shambuyi/AP

Democratic Republic Of Congo

As the Democratic republic of Congo entered a second day of voting, some candidates called for a fresh vote.

Wednesday's vote was marred by a chaotic rollout and lengthy delays. Speaking to Africanews Thursday (Dec. 21), opposition leader Martin Fayulu criticized the organization of the Decembver 20 general elections by the electoral commission CENI.

"Not all Congolese who hold voter cards voted," the ECIDE party leader says.

"Election materials did not arrive on time in all polling stations, including polling booths in Kinshasa. The electoral law is clear: elections must be held on a public holiday or a Sunday, and that the vote should take place during one day."

"What can be done is to extend the closing times or bring forward the opening time. The president of the electoral commission, mister Kadima, asked for voting to be extend today. However, this violates the electoral law and even doing so, many offices still do not have machines as of today in Kinshasa. What should be done in such instances? We're asking for everyone to be able to vote, all Congolese and to date it is not possible..."

Concerns are mounting that the logistical hurdles could affect the credibility of the results. 

In 2018 lready, results proclaimed by the Ceni were contested notably by Fayulu. The president of the electoral commission has now turned against Felix Tshisekeddi which he proclaimed winner claiming there was a conspirary in 2018 and that he approved results which didn't not reflect the reality of the vote. Incumbent president Tshisekedi has refuted the accusations.

“Upholding the electoral law and Constitution”

Martin Faluyu says his obession is not be declared winner. He details his strategy this time:

"Today, if you look at the results that are trickling in, I'm in the lead, so winning elections isn't my concern," the 67-year-old says.

"But we want the law to be respected and the truth from the ballot box to come to the light. If someone else wins and they can prove to us that they really won without any hindrance whatsoever, we will accept it. We are not in the business of contesting for the sake of contesting. We are in the logic of upholding electoral law, upholding the Constitution and upholding the rights of every citizen. This is the logic that guides our action.

44 million Congolese were registered to vote.

According to the observers’ mission set up by the DRC's main Christian churches, 31% of voting stations didn't open on December 20 and in 41,5% those which did voting machine were dysfunctional disrupting the vote.

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