Da Mail & Guardian del 09/11/2006
Originale su http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=289451

Bemba alleges 'process of cheating' in DRC poll

di Sofia Bouderbala

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo - The camp of Democratic Republic of Congo presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba alleged on Wednesday that there had been irregularities in the publication of partial results from the recent election.

Partial results from different voting districts published by authorities since the October 29 election are different from results "in our possession", said Eve Bazaiba, a spokesperson for Bemba's party.

"If it was just two or three cases, we could say that it was errors, but it is systematic, everywhere, in all [voting] bureaux ... We believe that there is a process of cheating which we cannot accept," Bazaiba said at a news conference.

The Independent Electoral Commission has been posting since November 5 on its website partial results by voting district, cautioning that the results are subject to change and warning against extrapolating the results nationwide.

So far the results have indicated that Joseph Kabila, DRC's incumbent President and Bemba's opponent in the runoff poll, is comfortably leading the former warlord turned vice-president.

By Wednesday evening, results from 73 of the country's 169 voting districts put Kabila on 65,69% and Bemba on 34,31%, according to an Agence France-Presse count.

The Independent Electoral Commission is expected to announce full provisional results by November 19. Definitive results will be declared by the Supreme Court on November 30 following verifications.

Bemba wrote to the Independent Electoral Commission on Wednesday demanding a "verification of the results" of certain voting constituencies where, the former warlord believes, there were "significant" discrepancies.

Independent Electoral Commission head Apollinaire Malu Malu told AFP that the panel would respond to all requests for clarification.

"But people have to understand that we are in the area of electoral compilation, not magic. We are working, we are checking, this takes a bit of time," he said.

Bazaiba also criticised an "imbalance" in the reporting of results, saying that results so far released have been from the eastern DRC, a Kabila stronghold.

On Wednesday morning, meanwhile, the United Nations mission in DRC, known as Monuc, warned that it would not tolerate any violence as people awaited the final results.

The two candidates, who came together on Tuesday for a rare meeting, issued a joint statement calling for the population to remain calm and vowing not to resort to violence.

International observers are fearful of violence in the desperately poor central African country, ravaged by decades of war over its rich natural and mineral resources.

The multi-party elections, bankrolled by Western countries and policed by the United Nations and the European Union, are the country's first in more than 40 years.

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