DR Congo: South African, Zambian presidents urge 'speedy' election results

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and Zambian President Edgar Lungu have called on the electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo to “speedily” release election results to help maintain peace and stability. The meeting between the two leaders of the Sadc regional bloc came as the Congolese electoral commission said it would publish results within 24 to 48 hours.

An electoral official arranges ballot papers at a polling station in Kinshasa the morning after the vote, 31 December 2018.
An electoral official arranges ballot papers at a polling station in Kinshasa the morning after the vote, 31 December 2018. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP

Ramaphosa and Lungu urged the DRC’s electoral commission to “speedily finalise the vote tabulation and release the election results in order to maintain the credibility of elections”, according to a statement from South Africa Department of International Relations and Cooperation seen by RFI.

“The two Presidents underscored that the delay in releasing the results of the elections can lead to suspicions and compromise peace and stability of the country,” said the statement following the meeting in Durban.

Members of the electoral commission met on Wednesday night and said results would be announced between 24 and 48 hours. 80 per cent of the results had been compiled so far, according to a source at the electoral commission who spoke to RFI.

Transfer of power

The opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party said on Tuesday that a meeting with its leader Felix Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila was being prepared to prepare for the handover of power.

The UDPS described Tshisekedi as the presumptive winner with Secretary General Jean-Marc Kabund saying, “the two personalities have an interest in meeting to prepare for a peaceful and civilized transfer of power”.

“The UDPS wishes to clarify that it’s in keeping with the logic of national reconciliation and opposing a policy of settling accounts,” said Kabund during a press conference at the party headquarters in Kinshasa.

Tshisekedi, in an interview with Belgium’s Le Soir newspaper, talked about Kabila’s role in the DRC following the announcement of results.

“It’s obvious he’ll be able to live peacefully in the country, go about his business, he has nothing to fear,” Tshisekedi said, talking about Kabila stepping down.

“One day we may even be paying homage to him for agreeing to leave. Why not, given his experience, trust him with special diplomatic tasks, make him an extraordinary ambassador of the Congo.”

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