| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Congo opposition candidates plan presidential election protest

A group of Congolese opposition candidates has written to Kinshasa’s governor, stating that they will protest the country’s disputed presidential election next week.

Delays on election day in the Democratic Republic of the Congo resulted in an extension of voting, which some opposition candidates and independent observers said jeopardized the vote’s credibility.

Election disputes often fuel unrest in Congo and risk further destabilising a country with globally important reserves of cobalt and copper, which is already battling widespread poverty and an eastern security crisis.

Five opposition candidates plan a joint protest in the capital on Dec. 27, according to a Dec. 22 letter to the Kinshasa governor shared on X social media platform by Jean-Marc Kabunda, a representative of candidate Martin Fayulu.

“We will protest against the irregularities observed during the voting operations … and before. We will also protest against the (voting) extension,” the letter said.

“The aforementioned irregularities sufficiently demonstrate that on Dec. 20, 2023, the elections were a sham,” it added.

The CENI election commission has acknowledged there were delays on Dec. 20 that meant some polling stations failed to open, but it has rejected allegations the credibility of the election was compromised by extending some voting.

Full provisional results of the election are expected by Dec. 31, with daily updates released from Saturday.

  • Reuters