Kabila's Lead Slips
As the count continues to unfold in the Congo, Kabila's lead wavers. Very reliable sources in the Congo share with Friends of the Congo that the central challenge for the independent Electoral Commission (CEI) and the Committee to Accompany the Transition (CIAT) is how to make Kabila the winner in the first round. It is believed that the international community does not want to expend the $26 million that it would take to organize a second round of voting. One may ask, why doesn't the Congo pay for the second round? Unfortunately, much of the government's money has been used by those who had access to the state trough to run their election campaigns. It is estimated that Kabila spent $63 million on his campaign.
Even as we watch these numbers unfold each day the real deal is what is taking place behind the scenes. There are a few structural issues preventing the vote from being fixed so that Kabila wins in the first round. Although, Kabila has been given incredibly large margins in the east of the country, the eastern provinces do not account for more than 46 percent of the total voting population, therefore even if he were to receive 100 percent of the votes from the eastern provinces, he would not have enough to exceed 50 percent and win in the first round.
Thus far, with 4.7 million of about 20 million votes counted, Kabila has 51 percent and Jean Pierre Bemba 19 percent. Kinshasa which accounts for about 12 percent of the electorate has yet to be counted. Kinshasa is widely expected to break in favor of Bemba.
Although the final results are to be released on the 20th, by the middle of the week, we should know whether or not a second round will occur or whether Kabila will win in the first round.