Partial Results Released
In an effort to break the tension in the Congo and cut down on the rumors about election results, the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI in French) began releasing partial results today. With 12 of 169 constituencies published, Joseph Kabila has 68.5 percent of the vote and Jean-Pierre Bemba, 31.5%. The early results come primarily from the east where Kabila receives the bulk of his support.
Click here to view published results by the CEI
Friends of the Congo of course does not subscribe to the so-called Swahili- Lingala divide in the Congo. With over 250 ethnic groups who are Bantu speaking such characterizations are facile proclamations by western media. Kabila's support in the East of the country is a result of his presiding over a peace process that brought about an official end (1,000 people are still dying each day because of conflict in the east) to the war that resulted in over 4 million Congolese dead. People in the east of the Congo are not voting for Kabila because he speaks Swahili, such analyses are reductionist and do a disservice to the complex political landscape that is the Congo.
Although less than one percent of the votes were released today, the CEI has counted over 60 percent of the votes and will publish new results each day. Stay tuned for more results.