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DRC poll: U.N concerned about 'efforts to silence dissent'

DRC poll: U.N concerned about 'efforts to silence dissent'

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Tallying centres in Kinshasa began compiling results of last weekend’s chaotic elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday following delays in getting local tallies ready for central counting.

DRC’s electoral body, (CENI) announced a delay of results having received only 20 percent of votes it said.

“We don’t know how long it will take to compile the results but there is a lot of work to do. Even if they say they will give results on Sunday we don’t think it will be possible because we only started today and until now, in the Mount Amba district, where we have 904 polling stations, we still haven’t got through 100’‘, said Papi Sakalamba, witness from the camp of an independent candidate.

Intimidation and harassment against journalists, opposition candidates and human rights defenders continues to take place, and this being a very sensitive.

The United Nations Human Rights Office in Geneva on Friday expressed concerned about the latest developments there.

Ravina Shamdasani is spokeswoman for the United Nations office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“Intimidation and harassment against journalists, opposition candidates and human rights defenders continues to take place, and this being a very sensitive, as I said, very tense period, we are concerned that these efforts to silence dissent could backfire considerably when the results are announced. And we are watching carefully and we are calling on all sides to refrain from the use of violence’‘, said Shamdasani said.

According to pre-election polling, ex-interior minister, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, Kabila’s preferred candidate will trail behind main opposition candidates, Martin Fayuku and Felix Tshisekedi.

Both Shadary and the opposition said they expect to win.

Reuters

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