Democracy in Europe

RDC Elections

More than two years after the initially scheduled date of 27 November 2016, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were finally able to cast their vote. Many groups and nations feared a continued attempt to keep power within his hands by the former president Joseph Kabila; however, on 30 December 2018 elections finally took place.

Idle hope that the counting of the votes would have been performed in a neutral and democratic way seem to have been in vain. Internet and Radio France Internationale were immediately shut down after the elections. The cities of Beni, Butembo and Yumbi still have not been allowed to vote due to the ongoing ebola crisis in North Kivu province and the ongoing conflict in the Mai-Ndombe province. Coincidentally, these three cities are known as stronghold for the opposition.

In order to observe the fairness of the elections, the Catholic Church of Congo had deployed about 40.000 people throughout the country. Thanks to their observers, on January third, 2019 the Catholic Church communicated that there was a clear winner, but did not mention a name. Contrary to what was believed, the opposition candidate Félix Tshisekedi of the Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social was declared the winner with approximately 39 percent of the votes. This result was immediately questioned by both the Catholic Church and the main opposition candidate Martin Fayulu. Report from the Catholic Church indicated that Fayulu received almost 60 percent of the votes.

A Consitutional Court appeal was filed by Martin Fayulu on the twelfth of January, but a recount was rejected by the Constitutional Court and on the twentieth of January Félix Tshisekedi was sworn in as the fifth president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Various organizations and nations kept questioning the results, but it seems that the international community has descended into acceptance. Some European nations, for whom democracy is one of their basic values, were present on the first row during the inauguration of Tshisekedi and others have barely issued a statement.

A man who has most likely not rightfully won the Congolese elections, who is in the grasp of former president Kabila and whose post can be taken away whenever the government pleases due to the lack of a genuine university diploma, will rule the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the next five years. Hopefully he will lead his nation to its first real democratic election.

Volt wants to express its admiration to the opposition candidate Martin Fayulu for using legal and peaceful means in the attempt to bring out the actual election results. Additionally, Volt expresses its disdain at the democracies of Europe who prefer the status quo over fair elections.