Congo arrests six election officials for ballot fraud

[JURIST] Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) [JURIST news archive] have arrested six election officials in Kinshasa for electoral fraud after an opposition group alleged widespread irregularities [JURIST report] in July's presidential election [AP report; tallied results]. Authorities allege that the officials were "caught red handed" tampering with ballots. Apollinaire Malu Malu, president of the Independent Electoral Commission [official website, in French], has launched full investigation into the Kinshasa election officials. In a related development, 15 minor presidential candidates have complained that the international community has failed to react to "massive irregularities" during the election.

Earlier this month the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) [party website, in French; Wikipedia backgrounder], an opposition party and former rebel group, threatened to challenge the election in court if the alleged fraudulent results are not fixed. The RCD noted cases of ballot stuffing and biased election officials during the poll - the first democratic presidential election in the country 40 years - saying that Rwandan Hutu rebels [BBC backgrounder] interfered with the election to garner more votes for Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila [BBC profile]. Azarias Ruberwa [campaign website], the RCD presidential candidate, also accused Kabila's party of bribing voters and threatened to bring his case to the Supreme Court. Though official results have not been released yet, unofficial reports show Kabila leading with 46.9 percent of the vote, trailed by Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba [Wikipedia profile] with 25.4 percent. AFP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.