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DRC blocks RFI broadcasts, cancels press accreditation for its correspondent

Lambert Mende, DRC government spokesman
Lambert Mende, DRC government spokesman Reuters

Radio France Internationale on Wednesday expressed its disappointment after the cancellation of press accreditation for its correspondent Florence Morice.It has also called for its FM broadcast, which has bveen blocked across most of the country since Tuesday, be re-instated.

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Government spokesman Lambert Mende accused RFI of discussing results and trends ahead of the official release.

"We will not allow a station to add fuel on the fire at a time when we are waiting for provisional results" he said.

RFI has defended itself, saying it respected the broadcast rules concerning Sunday's presidential elections and did not release any results.

Cécile Mégie, director of RFI

RFI, a French public-service broadcaster, has a very large audience in the Democratic Republic of Cong, a French-speaking country of around 80 million people.

The much anticipated results, which are due to be announced next Sunday, will elect a replacement for the outgoing president, Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2001.

In a statement on Wednesday, RFI said the representatives of the main candidates Néhémie Mwilonya Wilondja, Freddy Matungulu, Vital Kamerhe were invited to a special morning edition on Monday 31 December, where the views expressed were their own.

RFI assured the authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo that it would only publish results validated by the national election commission (CENI), in line with the rules.

Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, representing Kabila's government is up against opposition candidates Félix Tshisekedi and Martin Fayulu.

A recent survey by Afriscope/TNS Sofrès showed that 40 percent of RFI's audience was Congolese..

The RFI signal in the DRC was cut for several months until August 2017.

Radio France Internationale has expressed its support for its Kinshasa correspondent Florence Morice and requested that her press accreditation be restored.

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