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DRC: end of manufacturing of voting machines

18.10.2018
All copies of voting machines are already ready, according to the president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Corneille Nangaa announces the end of the production of these digital tools that should be used in the general elections of December 23rd. While the opposition still does not want it.

Will voting machines be used in the general (especially presidential) elections of December 23 in the DRC? In any case, the regime of Joseph Kabila holds it as the apple of his eye.

“We have already received 12,415 and 23,000 are expected over the weekend, followed by another 8,000 the following week. In Mombasa, Kenya, the first batch is expected around the 22nd. What is certain is that there is no longer any machine in South Korea. All production has ended. The transport has begun and the arrivals are well programmed “,” reassured “Corneille Nangaa, Wednesday, October 17 at the launch of the training in the use of these digital tools.

The president of the CENI also indicates that nearly 20 containers of voting machines have already arrived in the DRC. This should make a total of 107,000 copies.

Manufactured by a South Korean firm, the voting machine is a touch screen that CENI intends to use December 23 to allow voters to choose candidates and then print the ballots of the selected candidate.

“An innovation to modernize the electoral process,” according to a young supporter of the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD, ruling party) of the commune of Gombe in Kinshasa.
“We refuse the machine to vote”

Needless to say, DRC opposition fears this machine. From Vital Kamerhé to Félix Tshisekedi, via Jean-Pierre Bemba and Moïse Katumbi, the electronic device is considered an instrument of fraud for the benefit of the candidate of power.

Not only the political actors of the opposition. Including members of the Congolese clergy. Not to mention internationally renowned artists such as Koffi Olomide who recently came under the wrath of an editor of the National Radio and Television of Congo (RTNC), a public service channel that had just laid an almost moral indictment against the artist -musician because the “King of the Congolese Rumba” had called for the abandonment of the voting machine.

The debate was also on the street. Throughout the DRC, almost everyone talks about it in any way, in any place and in any circumstance. As in the match against Zimbabwe counting for the 2019 CAN qualifiers. As the DRC Leopards were leading (1 – 2) at the Kinshasa Martyrs Stadium and the match was drawing to an end, the Kinois audience did not is not prevented from talking about the voting machine. “To boyi voting machine” (we refuse the voting machine, in Lingala), sang supporters who even spoke “flying machine”.

However, whatever one may say, nothing seems to deter Kinshasa from using the voting machine. And since demonstrations against the use of this tool are often forbidden, and even repressed (sometimes very violently), the opposition is almost in front of a fait accompli.

Unless it wants to revise its strategy to force the CENI and the other institutions in charge of organizing elections in the DRC to revise their copies

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