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AFRICAN UNION changes stance urges suspension of final vote results in DR Congo

19.01.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
Africa’s number one institution the African Union (AU) took the continent by surprise when it made a clarion call on DR Congo authorities to halt in the proclamation of the final results of the historic December 30 polls.
The AU made the call after a ‘’crisis meeting’’ held at its headquarters in Addis Ababa on Thursday, January 17 to brainstorm on the latest political developments in one of Africa’s most restive nations.

The meeting also brought together some regional blocs like the Southern African Development Community SADC, The Great Lakes Region among others.
Chaired by outgoing AU chief who doubles as the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, the body cited ‘’serious doubts’’ and accuracy of the provisional results of January 10 that saw Felix Tshisekedi won with just 38.57% of the total votes cast.
The AU under Paul Kagame resolved to send a strong delegation to Kinshasa to have a fruitful discussion with Congo stakeholders on the election matter.

AU earlier stance on the DR Congo election outcome

After the proclamation of the provisional election results by Congo’s Electoral body CENI, the African Union Commission, a vibrant organ of the AU, applauded the election outcome of the DRC and called on both parties to keep calm and maintain peace. While expressing utmost satisfaction, the AUC chair Moussa Faki Mahamat urged political actors in the DRC to instill Democracy in their nation.  However, many political analysts have bemoaned the new decision by the AU. Pundits across Africa have always slammed the AU for not meeting the aspirations of the African people.

Southern African Development Community (SADC)

The SADC which has been closely following the developments in DR Congo took a different stance after the meeting in Ethiopia. After the Thursday’s meeting, SADC leaders withdrew their previous call for vote recount after coalition candidate Martin Fayula contested the provisional election results declared by CENI. SADC’s statement read “We call upon the international community to respect…the ongoing internal legal and political processes for the finalisation of the electoral process.”

Reaction from DR Congo Authorities   

Reacting to the AU’s call to suspend the proclamation of final poll results, government spoke’s person of the DR Congo Lambert Mende said it its uncalled for that an independent judicial institution be controlled by external organization be it regional or continental. He strongly rebuked the AU’s quest to halt the proclamation of final results of the Dec 30 elections, reiterating that Congo’s Judicial Body is ‘’Impartial.’’

The historic December 30, 2018, in DR Congo, saw opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi emerged winner with 38.57 per cent as announced by the country’s independent electoral commission.

However, controversies remain high as French-backed contender Martin Fayulu’s who came second with just 34.8 per cent has challenged the accuracy of the vote results.  If the results are confirmed by Congo’s Constitutional court, Felix Tshisekedi would succeed outgoing president Joseph Kabila after 18 years of reign as president.

The incoming leader has a heavy task of forming an inclusive government, ending ongoing violence and revamping the fragile economy of the rich Central African state.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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