Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bemba Files With Supreme Court

On Saturday, November 18, 2006 Jean Pierre Bemba filed his case with the Supreme Court and formally contested the results of the October 29th elections where Kabila won 58 percent of the votes and Bemba 42 percent. The central points of contention are a disputed 1.5 million votes of people allowed to cast ballots at stations other than where they registered poll workers.

The provisional results have to be formalized by November 30, 2006. The Supreme Court may annul all or part of the vote if recognized irregularities may have had a decisive influence on the outcome of the poll.

Although almost all international observers have signed off on the results a breakdown of the numbers does warrant some questions. Kabila won 5 of the 11 provinces and in the provinces that he won, he averaged 94 percent of the votes and the turnout was 20 percentage points higher than the provinces that voted in favor of Bemba.

Some observers question how it is that in five provinces almost 100 percent of the people voted for Kabila and at the same time those people were more motivated to turn out to vote with a 76 percent turnout rate, 11 percentage points higher than the national average and 20 percentage points higher than the areas in which Bemba came out on top.

Earlier today the Supreme Court attempted to start reviewing Bemba's case, however, violence broke out and shooting occurred outside the Court. The Court was set afire and the judges and civilians had to evacuate. The Supreme Court has eight days to rule on Bemba's filings.


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