Friday, November 25, 2011

AFRICA : DEM. REP. CONGO : UPCOMING ELECTIONS POSSIBLE COUP ATTEMPT

Agenzia Fides report – In the upcoming presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a newspaper in Kinshasa denounces an alleged coup attempt, foiled by the local authorities in collaboration with those of Congo Brazzaville.
"Le Potentiel" states that "armed elements from the other side of the Congo River" (which divides the two capitals, Kinshasa and Brazzaville) were captured while they were preparing to attack the residence of President Kabila and the prison of Makala. Another attack was to take place at the same time at the prison of Matadi in the Bas-Congo Province.
"So far it is the only source that reported this news, which I think is rather general," says to Fides Fr. Loris Cattani, a Xaverian missionary and member of the "Network for Congo Peace" who closely follows the events of the DRC and has stressed that the climate of tension in which the campaign takes place (see Fides 19/11/2011). Congolese Bishops have also denounced the violence and intimidation in the life of local politics (see Fides 11/11/2011).
In recent days the campaign was marked by controversy over the so-called "fictitious seats." "The President of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the accusations, explaining that it was a mistake", says Fr. Loris. "It all started because a list of seats was published, based on that of the 2006 elections. In practice, this list is not updated. Meanwhile, since the majority of the seats are located in schools, some of these educational centers have been closed and its buildings were sold and became private houses, shops. The opposition say there are 3 million cards already filled out with the name of Kabila, to be placed in these alleged fictitious seats" explains Fr. Loris. "But there is no evidence of the existence of these cards, but the President of INEC reasoning seems correct when he says that if Kabila had created the fake seats he would have keep them hidden, and he would certainly not have entered them in the official list of electoral centers ". Fr. Loris concludes: "I think the big unknown question is the post-election. We will see if the election results are peacefully accepted by everyone".

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