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Criticism of how the votes are being compiled

Further to my post yesterday, foreign diplomats have asked election commissioner Ngoy Mulunda why he is invalidating entire polling stations in Kinshasa but not in other provinces. Apparently, the commission has now said he would not invalidate votes in Kinshasa – observers are waiting to see if the disqualified bundles of votes will be entered into the system now.

In general, the main complaint has been the lack of transparency in vote compilation. The election commission is releasing bulk results by entire electoral districts, which makes it impossible for observers and political parties to check individual polling station results with the official tally. Observer missions (including the Catholic church and civil society) feel that they had representative in a majority of polling stations and will be able to check for large incidents of fraud.

Publishing results by polling station will also help (although not completely solve) address allegations of fake voting stations. When the list of voting stations was published before elections, allegations came forward that some of the stations on the list did not exist, which raised the possibility that the poll would rigged in stations where by definition there could be no independent witnesses. But here, too, disaggregated results could pinpoint stations where there were no opposition witnesses or observers. If results there were questionable, they could then be scrutinized further.

Foreign ambassadors have raised this matter with Ngoy Mulunda, who has cited logistical problems – including the fact that their website was hacked – as a reason for not publishing disaggregated results.

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