One Candidate Clearly Won DRC Election, Catholic Church Says

CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO

DRC poll makes Uganda last Mobutuist state in EA Wednesday January 2 2019 CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO

The United States stands by the millions of Congolese voters who went to the polls across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on December 30 to participate in presidential, legislative, and provincial assembly elections.

The election commission, CENI, has scheduled to announce the provisional results on Sunday, followed by the definitive results on 15 January and inauguration of the next president three days later.

The count is underway after Sunday's vote to determine who succeeds Joseph Kabila as president after his 18 years in power, with the results expected next Sunday. This could be Congo's first peaceful transition of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.

But he invoked a caretaker clause in the constitution to stay on, sparking protests that were ruthlessly crushed, leaving scores dead.

Kabila's ruling coalition is backing his hand-picked successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

As the Congolese people, the region, and the world await patiently for the results of these elections, the internet must be restored and the media allowed to report freely, it stressed.

"We call on the CENI ... to publish, with all responsibility, the results of the election that respect truth and justice".

The government has also cut Internet access until the poll results are announced, saying this is a necessary measure to prevent the spread of fake news.

Washington has also urged Kinshasa to release "accurate" results and warned of sanctions against anyone seeking to "undermine the democratic process" in the former Belgian colony.

Government shutdown could mean delayed tax returns
However: Several tax returns have been called "Necessary for the Safety of Human Life or Protection of Government Property". Tax-filing season normally begins in mid-January and most people receive there W-2 forms towards the end of the month.

"Respect of the election results is crucial", Faki said in a brief message posted on Twitter.

The council didn't issue any joint statement, at least for now.

The UN Security Council was to meet behind closed doors on Friday to discuss the DRC, diplomats in NY said.

Democratic Republic of Congo's Catholic church said on Thursday it was clear which candidate won the country's presidential election, and demanded that the electoral commission publish accurate results.

"The decision to cut internet and text messages hampered the transmission of data from the field", said Cyrille Ebotoko, technical supervisor of the Catholic church's observer mission.

It accuses the church of being irresponsible and anarchist.

Global pressure is growing on Congo to restore internet service - blocked in an apparent attempt to calm election speculation - and release accurate election results, with the United States warning that those who undermine the democratic process could face US sanctions.

Kabila's government refused to accredit election monitors from the European Union and the USA -based Carter Center, which said there were widespread irregularities in the 2011 election.

The country lived through two fully-fledged wars between 1996 and 2003 that claimed millions of lives through bloodshed, fighting, starvation and disease.

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