The Democratic Process in the DRC.
par Bobo BONG-E-BONE
Wits University - Licence en science politique 2006
Almost modern scientists admitted that free and fair elections are democracy's core fundamental and unique political characteristic.
This is the first multiparty election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in over 46 years post-colonialism, after the `Mouvement National Congolais' won the country's first free legislative elections in 1959, before independency, leading to the appointment of the legendary anti-colonial leader Patrice Emery Lumumba as first Congolese prime minister. But it is not a reason for us to accept many irregularities that have occur the electoral process.
Currently in the world, there are some political principles which are conducting democratic elections as: the full participation of the citizens in the political process and freedom association, political tolerance and regular intervals for elections as provided the constitution (41(*)). Equal opportunities for all political parties must be provided to all to access the state media, but nothing can be found in Congo's specific case when only one candidate was allowed to use the public media for him propaganda. But, concerning the public debate that also has been providing by electoral law, it is him the first to destroy that meeting because he doesn't have any background to manage.
Others democratic electoral principles are the equal the acceptance and respect of the election results by political parties proclaimed to have been free and fair by the competent national electoral authorities, which are supposed to neutral, but in Congo, the Independent Electoral Commission and the High Court, according to professor Mampuya Kanunk'a Tshiabo, are just under Kabila strong political control and then, become his private fields.
First round Congolese elections results, issued in August, sparked three days of fierce battles opposing Jean-Pierre Bemba and Joseph Kabila troops on the streets of Kinshasa.
Starting on August 20 heavy armed clashes took place in Kinshasa between forces loyal to Bemba and Kabila. Both sides accused the other of starting the fighting.
More than 25 million citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were registered to vote between 33 candidates for the Presidency and 9.000 for the 500 seats for the future parliament, were the approximate population is known or estimated around 60 million.
On the day of the election, three vice-presidents, many presidency candidates and some electoral observers complained about vote rigging. Zahidi Ngoma, Azarias Ruberwa and Jean-Pierre Bemba said `we are heading for a masquerade or a parody of elections'.
On 21 August, during a meeting between Bemba and fourteen foreign ambassadors representing the International Committee Accompanying the political transition to democratic process in Democratic Republic of the Congo which was taking place in Kinshasa, clashes broke between Bemba and Kabila forces and also Bemba's residence which hosted the meeting, came under violent Kabila's attack.
One diplomat in the residence of Bemba declares `Kabila used artillery and heavy machine gun fire' to destroy Bemba's residence.
Suddenly, Bemba and fourteen diplomats were moved to the safety of the residence's shelter and there were no reports of injuries. Evacuations plan for diplomats stranded in the shelter were reportedly being drawn up.
Bemba's private helicopter was said to have been destroyed in the Kabila's attack. Several hours later, the Monuc announced that the diplomats had been properly evacuated from Bemba's residence. From this political conflict situation, the European Union has began sending more peacekeeping troops to Kinshasa but the Monuc chief always called for an immediate ceasefire, politically fragile.
The 30 July 2006 Congolese's Elections were characterized by full violence and most logistical problems, which have been solved late by Monuc.
* 41 www.eisa.org.za/PDF/sadcguidelines.pdf