Saturday, August 12, 2006

Results Still Show Kabila in the Lead, Moving Beyond the 50% Mark

The latest results released by the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) still shows Kabila in the lead moving beyond the 50 percent mark need to win in the first round. With almost 20 percent of the votes in, Kabila is at 55 percent and Bemba 18 percent. They are followed by Pierre Pay-Pay, former governor of the Central Bank, with 2 percent and Harvard-trained Doctor, Oscar Kashala also with 2 percent

The results are based on 47 of the 169 counting centers reporting. Although the CEI promised results for Kinshasa on Friday the 11th, no figures have been released. Kinshasa is expected to be strongly in the favor of Jean Pierre Bemba; with its population of 8 million inhabitants, it represents 12 percent of all registered voters.

It still remains both fascinating and puzzling that almost all the international observers have left the Congo, yet NONE of the European forces has left. Observers who are still in the Congo, complain about being blocked from entering the counting stations in the east - areas where Kabila is scoring 85 - 90 percent. Does this seem strange or unusual to anyone? The observers came, they witnessed a vote and then they left. What about the counting of the votes? Those votes that are being dumped en mass, burned and are not adding up?

Imagine if Jean Pierre Bemba, another strongman who has his own military, has had access to the state coffers and owns his own media, was not in the race? The organizing of the so-called free, fair and transparent elections would have been even more farcical than it is now. Outside of the two strongmen (Kabila and Bemba), none of the 33 candidates is registering more than 2 percent. So let's see in a country of 60 million people,only two strongmen are capable of obtaining substantive support from the populace?

The organizing of the elections were structurally flawed because they were organized to legitimize Kabila's rule not to bring democracy to the Congo. The pro-democracy forces in the Congo are doing a yeoman's job to counter the international community's latest attempt to control the riches of the Congo and impose a leader who serves foreign interests not the interests of the Congolese people.


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