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The (S)Election Circus in the Democratic Republic of Congo


After repeated delays, President Joseph Kabila finally agreed to have his country head to the poll. And so, the people of former Zaire have a Christmas gift this year because the 23rd of December 2018 is elections day in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Bravo to my friends Bakongoman. There is something nice about holding an election and being able to cast your ballot in favor of a candidate of your choice. It enhances democracy and instills some sense of fulfillment and patriotism. But that is when an election is actually one. Election. The Congolese one, like many others in counterfeit democracies, appears to be something else. Anyway, let's, for purposes of this argument, grant that it is an election. But even then, I still do not seem to see what benefit, e.g. what possible change these elections will bring to DRC. I am not a hater of elections but my optimism about elections, especially in our part of the world, is very guarded for the simple reason that as they are currently held, elections mean very little if anything to the majority of the people who are subjected to them.

So. Let’s look at DRC again. The President, in fact, has his preferred candidate, in the name of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who unless a miracle happens MUST win the coming elections. He MUST win because all indications are that the DRC elections have already been - and successfully so - pre-rigged. In "How to Rig and Election" by Nic and Klaas, we have already been taught about the strategies that counterfeit democrats use to retain power. It is very clear that Kabila has effectively already deployed some of those and will not hesitate to deploy others from the rigging toolkit.

With the use of technology that all indications are that it has been tampered with or is highly likely to be compromised during and after actual voting, by the ruling party; with an electoral body that is at the call of the incumbent; with an already scuttled opposition (running with one hand tied to its back); with a moribund civil society and independent media; with violence in several parts of the country and poor infrastructure to confine international observers to few areas around Kinshasa; and with an overly under/mis/un-informed electorate (with almost nil civic/voter education), clearly the stage is set for the incumbent to what each counterfeit democrat has been doing recently; fool the West (pretending to be democratic by hallowing something like an election to happen) while ensuring he retains power. In this case through (s)election of a Kabila puppet.

The (S)Election Circus in the Democratic Republic of Congo The (S)Election Circus in the Democratic Republic of Congo Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on November 26, 2018 Rating: 5

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