Democratic Republic of the Congo general election, 2006

Democratic Republic of the Congo general election, 2006
Democratic Republic of the Congo

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General elections were held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on July 30, 2006, the first multiparty elections in the country in 41 years. Voters went to the polls to elect both a new President of the Republic and a new National Assembly, the lower-house of the Parliament.

The polls were boycotted by the veteran opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, who complained of fraud. The international community donated $460 million to fund the elections and deployed the world's largest UN peacekeeping operation, MONUC, to help the stability of the election. While the election was conducted relatively peacefully, the collection of the results has proven chaotic, leading to armed clashes and growing fears of instability. As a result, DRC election officials announced that they would begin to release partial results earlier instead of only announcing the final count on August 20.[1]

On August 20, the CEI released its full provisional presidential election results, indicating that neither candidate was able to secure a majority, which led to a run-off election on October 29. On that day, voters went to the polls to vote in:

  • a run-off election for the Presidency, as no candidate obtained more than 50 percent of the vote.
  • an election of provincial parliaments[2]

On November 15, the CEI released its full provisional results for the presidential election's second round, indicating that Joseph Kabila had won. The results were, however, rejected by Bemba who claimed irregularities. On November 27, the DRC Supreme Court confirmed that Kabila had won the election.


Registration and voter turnout

A polling place in eastern DRC

Over 25 million people registered to vote for the elections, in a country where the exact population is not known, but is likely in excess of 60 million. The Independent Electoral Commission (CEI or La Commission Electorale Indépendante) reported a voter turnout of 80 percent.[3]


Thirty three people registered as candidates for the Presidency[4] and 9,000 for the 500 seats in the federal parliament.[5]

The initial presidential favourites were Joseph Kabila, the incumbent, and Jean-Pierre Bemba, one of the four vice-presidents.


May 31, 2006 demonstration in Kinshasa against the delay of Elections.

At least six people were killed in violent street protests in the run up to the election.[6]

As of July 30, most polling stations were reported to have opened on time, with the election remaining peaceful.[7] The election closely followed an agreement with Ituri militias on July 28, an agreement which MONUC has stated "greatly enhances the security situation in the province in the lead-up to the historic DRC elections."[8]

Violence in Kasai

Presumed supporters of Tshisekedi burnt polling stations and voting materials in the city of Mbuji-Mayi, capital of East Kasai province, on Sunday to prevent the elections being held. The elections were extended until Monday and riot police were deployed.[9]

Fraud allegations

On the day of the election three Vice-Presidents and candidates complained of vote rigging. Bemba, Ruberwa and Z'Ahidi said "Perhaps we are heading for a masquerade or a parody of elections".[10]

Partial preliminary results

Preliminary results were expected to be released on August 2,[10] but due to the remoteness of many polling stations, results were not expected to be finalised until three weeks after the polls close. While South African observers approved the election, other monitors expressed concern, including ones from the Carter Center.[11][12] MONUC reported that on August 3, on the third day of "chaotic poll-counting, a suspicious fire at a major Kinshasa election center deepened concerns over the transparency of the results."[13] According to MONUC, while the election itself may have met requirements, "the process of collecting results from 50,000 polling stations had become chaotic." On August 6, MONUC predicted that President Joseph Kabila appeared most likely to win, with Jean-Pierre Bemba finishing second.[13]

Clashes in eastern DRC

On August 5, thousands in eastern DRC were fleeing clashes between the DRC army and forces affiliated with General Laurent Nkunda. DRC officials reported that two government soldiers were killed in the fighting.[12] According to the The Independent, Nkunda, who is "widely believed to be in third place in the race for the DRC's presidency," stated that he will respect the results, but along with over 30 other candidates, expressed "determination to resist results which are perceived to be unfair."[14] Nkunda, who remains subject of an international arrest warrant issued by the DRC government "for alleged atrocities against civilians committed since 2004," expressed a willingness to negotiate with the winner of the election, but also, determination to resist any military attack. MONUC spokesperson reported that the peacekeeping force had begun patrolling in the area and that fighting has become limited to isolated incidents.[15]

Pre-release of interim results

While the official provisional election results were not to be announced until August 20, on August 7, due to the tense climate brought by the chaotic collection of results and after pressures from international envoys (an effort led by South Africa), the DRC Electoral Commission stated that it will begin releasing interim election results as soon as the 20 percent vote count threshold is reached.[1] On August 8, some results were released, indicating that Kabila "overwhelmingly won" in the east while Bemba won in the west. A UN representative stated that it is too early to declare a winner. Preliminary national results were not expected until at least August 14.[16] On August 12, the DRC Independent Electoral Commission announced that six poll officials have been arrested for attempting to falsify the election results.[17] The officials were arrested on August 10, and appeared in court on August 11.[18] On August 15, the IEC reported that 94 percent of the presidential votes and 44 percent of the parliamentary results had been counted.[19] MONUC cautioned against media speculation of the results, while the instability in eastern DRC continues.[20] On August 16, Angola deployed four battalions along the DRC border. The Angolan army's Deputy Chief of Staff, General Geraldo Sachipendo Nunda, has said that these are steps taken "to ensure the security of our borders," although it has been speculated that Angola is preparing to intervene, if the need arises, in favor of Kabila.[21] On August 17, the UN began investigating a suspected child prostitution ring involving UN peacekeepers and members of the DRC army.[22] Also on August 17, MONUC chief William Lacy Swing, warned against hate messages in local Bemba-run media which called on Congolese to target white people and foreigners.[23] This was in response to a widespread perception that Kabila's election had been backed by the international community.[24] In response, the Congolese High Authority on Media suspended for twenty four hours the RTAE and CCTV television stations, the latter owned by Bemba. The government-owned Congolese Broadcasting Corporation television station, controlled by Kabila, also received a twenty four hour suspension.[25]

Interim results

The CEI released its full provisional results for the presidential election on August 20. On August 31, the DRC Supreme Court will announce the final official presidential election results. The CEI is set to release the results of the parliamentary election during early September.[26] Both events ended up being postponed, and as of September 7, remain so.


Results of the first round of the 2006 presidential election by Province.[27] Candidates: Kabila; Bemba; Gizenga

On August 20, with almost all the votes from the country's 169 constituencies having been counted, the DRC headed toward a run-off election. There were reports of automatic gunfire in Kinshasa, and MLC representatives accused Kabila's Republican Guard of killing one of its men and injuring three policemen.[28] The armed clashes resulted in the long-awaited CEI announcement ceremony being delayed by several hours.[29] Full provisional results show Kabila with 44.81 percent of the vote, to Bemba's 20.03. Gizenga secured about 13 percent,[30] Mobutu about 5 percent and Kashala around 4 percent.[31]

e • d Summary of the 30 July 2006 presidential election results
Candidate Party Votes %
Joseph Kabila Independent 7,590,485 44.81%
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo Movement for the Liberation of Congo 3,392,592 20.03%
Antoine Gizenga Unified Lumumbist Party 2,211,280 13.06%
Nzanga Mobutu Union of Mobutist Democrats 808,397 4.77%
Oscar Kashala Union for Congo's Reconstruction 585,410 3.46%
Azarias Ruberwa Manywa Congolese Rally for Democracy 285,641 1.69%
Pierre Pay-Pay wa Syakasighe Federalist Christian Democracy-Convention of Federalists for Christian Democracy 267,749 1.58%
Vincent de Paul Lunda-Bululu Rally of Social and Federalist Forces 237,257 1.40%
Joseph Olenghankoy Mukundji New Forces for Union and Solidarity 102,186 0.60%
Pierre Anatole Matusila Malungenine Kongo Independent 99,408 0.59%
Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi Renewal Forces 96,503 0.57%
Bernard Emmanuel Kabatu Suila USL 86,143 0.51%
Eugène Diomi Ndongala Christian Democracy 85,897 0.51%
other candidates 2,319,547 6.42%
Total (turnout 70.54%) 17,931,238
Source: CEI-RDC


On August 25, MONUC announced that the parliamentary results will be released as early as that day,[32] but as of August 27, they have yet to be released. On August 28, the CEI began releasing the legislative results, with the final count expected for September 4.[33] On September 4, the CEI postponed releasing the results of the parliamentary elections by at least a day following the arrest of ten Bemba-affiliated election officials. Still, the CEI announced that these problems will not affect the results.[34] The results so far released, show Kabila at a strong lead with 45% of the seats to Bemba's 14%, the remaining going to other parties. Of the 500 parliamentary seats, 58 have yet to be released.[35] On September 8, the CEI released the results, revealing that no single party gained the 251 seats needed to secure a majority. Kabila's PPRD has won 111 seats, while Bemba's MLC won 64 seats.[36]

Clashes in Kinshasa

Starting on August 20 heavy armed clashes took place in Kinsasha between forces loyal to Kabila and Bemba. Both sides accused the other of starting the fighting.[37]

On August 21, while a meeting between Bemba and foreign ambassadors representing the International Committee Accompanying the Transition to Democracy (CIAT)[38] was taking place in Kinshasa, clashes broke out between Kabila and Bemba forces, and Bemba's residence which hosted the meeting, came under attack. According to one diplomat in the residence, it included artillery and heavy machine gun fire.[39] Bemba and the diplomats were moved to the safety of the residence's shelter and there were no reports of injuries. Evacuation plans for the diplomats stranded in the shelter were reportedly being drawn up. Bemba's private helicopter was said to have been destroyed in the attack.[40] Several hours later, the UN spokesperson in the DRC, Jean-Tobias Okala, announced that the foreign diplomats, including MONUC chief William Swing, had been successfully evacuated to UN headquarters by Spanish and Uruguayan peace-keeping forces after a top Kabila general and UN forces commander cooperated to allow them safe passage.[41]

Once the rescue had been completed, fighting in the DRC capital ensued, and on August 22, two DRC army tanks were reported seen heading toward the latest area of fighting.[37] The EU began sending more peacekeeping troops to Kinsasha and MONUC chief Swing called for an immediate ceasefire.[42] Later on August 22, on the third day of fighting, the two sides signed a tentative ceasefire agreement to withdraw from the centre of Kinshasa. AFP reports that "the deal was signed by representatives of Kabila and Bemba, DRC army, the UN mission MONUC, European force EUFOR and European police mission EUROPOL, meeting as a "working group" at MONUC's Kinshasa headquarters." At least three people have died during Tuesday's fighting.[43] Sixteen people were reported killed in the fighting which saw heavy artillery and machine gun fire, with police reporting more bodies being found and the deathtoll expected to rise considerably.[44] Later in the day, Interior Minister Theophile Mbemba Fundu, placed the deathtoll for the week at 23 killed, 43 injured.[45] As of August 24, the ceasefire remained in effect, with army forces loyal to the two candidates remaining in barracks, but the situation remains unstable.[46] Later in the day, police fired shots in the air to disperse angry crowds demanding that two of Bemba's television stations be reopened.[44] South African Airways announced that flights to Kinshasa will be resumed on August 25 after being suspended since the fighting began.[47]

On August 26, Kabila and Bemba announced that the two had agreed to meet.[48] Later in the day, however, tensions were heightend as Bemba failed to attend the meeting.[49] On August 29, MONUC announced that representatives of Kabila and Bemba were due to meet under UN supervision.[50] Later in the day, it was reported that Kabila and Bemba themselves met for the first time since the clashes began.[51] On August 30, MONUC announced that the meeting resulted in the establishment of two joint sub-commissios, one to conduct an independent investigation of the clashes, and the other to devise rules which will prevent violence from recurring during the October 29 run-off election.[52]

The French Wikipedia has an article about the August 2006 Kinsasha clashes: Événements de Kinshasa d'août 2006 (French)

Release of official results

As of early September, the DRC Supreme Court is to have about two months to rule on election-related appeals.


On September 5, the DRC Supreme Court, which was set to release the official results of the election's first round, announced it will be postponing doing so pending two legal challenges which deem the forthcoming second round of elections unconstitutional.[53] MONUC, however, stated on September 6 that it is satisfied with the electoral process, but expressed concern over the humanitarian situation.[54]


The CEI has postponed releasing the interim results for several days and these were released on September 8. As of that day, the CEI is to have fifteen days to set the date for the first session of parliament. This notwithstanding any Supreme Court rulings on its final composition.

e • d Summary of the 30 July 2006 National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo election results
Parties Seats Votes
People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (Parti du Peuple pour la Reconstruction et le Démocratie) 111 22.2
Movement for the Liberation of Congo (Mouvement pour la Liberation du Congo) 64 12.8
Unified Lumumbist Party (Parti Lumumbiste Unifié) 34 6.8
Social Movement for Renewal (Mouvement Social pour le Renouveau) 27 5.4
Forces for Renewal (Forces du Renouveau) 26 5.2
Congolese Rally for Democracy (Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie) 15 3.0
Coalition of Congolese Democrats (Coalition des Démocrates Congolais) 10 2.0
Convention of Christian Democrats (Convention des Démocrates Chrétiens) 10 2.0
Union of Mobutuist Democrats (Union des Démocrates Mobutistes) 9 1.8
Camp of the Fatherland (Camp de la Patrie) 8 1.6
Federalist Christian Democracy-Convention of Federalists for Christian Democracy (Démocratie Chrétienne Fédéraliste–Convention des Fédéralistes pour la Démocratie Chrétiene) 8 1.6
Christian Democrat Party (Parti Démocrate Chrétien) 8 1.6
Union of Federalist Nationalists of Congo (Union des Nationalistes Fédéralistes du Congo) 7 1.4
Congolese Alliance of Christian Democrats (Alliance Congolaise des Démocrates Chrétiens) 4 0.8
Alliance of Congolese Democrats (Alliance des Démocrates Congolais) 4 0.8
United Congolese Convention (Convention des Congolais Unis) 4 0.8
Resistance Patriots Maï-Maï (Patriotes Résistants Maï-Maï) 4 0.8
Rally of Congolese Democrats and Nationalists (Rassemblement des Congolais Démocrates et Nationalistes) 4 0.8
Union of the People for Republic and Integral Development (Union du Peuple pour la République et le Développement Intégral) 4 0.8
Union of Builders of Kongo (Alliance des Bâtisseurs du Kongo) 3 0.6
Democratic Convention for Development (Convention Démocrate pour le Développement) 3 0.6
Convention for the Republic and Democracy (Convention pour la République et la Démocratie) 3 0.6
National Alliance Party for Unity (Parti de l’Alliance Nationale pour l’Unité) 3 0.6
Party of Nationalists for Integral Development (Parti des Nationalistes pour le Développement Intégral) 3 0.6
Union of Congolese Patriots (Union des patriotes congolais) 3 0.6
National Union of Federalist Democrats (Union Nationale des Démocrates Fédéralistes) 3 0.6
Alliance of Congolese Believing Nationalists (Alliance des Nationalistes Croyants Congolais) 2 0.4
Alliance for the Renewal of Congo (Alliance pour le Renouveau du Congo) 2 0.4
Renewing Forces for Union and Solidarity (Forces Novatrices pour l'Union et la Solidarité) 2 0.4
Movement for Democracy and Development (Mouvement pour la Démocratie et le Développement) 2 0.4
Congolese Party for Good Governance (Parti Congolais pour la Bonne Gouvernance) 2 0.4
People's Revolution Party (Parti de la Révolution du Peuple) 2 0.4
Democratic Social Christian Party (Parti Democrate Social Chretien) 2 0.4
Rally of Social and Federalist Forces (Rassemblement des Forces Sociales et Fédéralistes) 2 0.4
Electoral Platform Renaissance (Renaissance Plate-forme électorale) 2 0.4
Solidarity for National Development (Solidarité pour le Développement National ) 2 0.4
Union for the Republican Majority (Union pour la Majorité Républicaine ) 2 0.4
National Union of Christian Democrats (Union Nationale des Démocrates Chrétiens) 2 0.4
Action of the Rally for Reconstruction and Edification (Action de Rassemblement pour la Reconstruction et l'Edification Nationales ) 1 0.2
Alliance of Congolese Nationalists (Alliance des Nationalistes Congolais/Plate Forme ) 1 0.2
Conscience and People's Will (Conscience et Volonté du Peuple ) 1 0.2
Christian Convention for Democracy (Convention Chrétienne pour la Démocratie) 1 0.2
National Convention of Political Action (Convention Nationale d'Action Politique)) 1 0.2
National Convention for Republic and Progress (Convention Nationale pour la République et le Progrès 1 0.2
Christian Democracy {Démocratie Chrétienne) 1 0.2
Front of Congolese Democrats (Front des Démocrates Congolais) 1 0.2
Front for Social Integration (Front pour l'Intégration Sociale) 1 0.2
Social Front of Independent Republicans (Front Social des Indépendants Républicains) 1 0.2
Front of Social Democrats for Development (Front des Sociaux Démocrates pour le Développement) 1 0.2
Republican Generations (Générations Républicaines) 1 0.2
Action Movement for Ressurection of the Congo-Fraternity and Labour Party (Mouvement d'Action pour la Résurrection du Congo, Parti du Travail et de la Fraternité) 1 0.2
Self-Defence Movement for Integrity and Maintenance of Independent Authority (Mouvement d'Autodéfense pour l'Intégrité et le Maintien de l'Autorité Indépendante) 1 0.2
Congolese People's Movement for the Republic (Mouvement du Peuple Congolais pour la République) 1 0.2
Popular Movement of the Revolution (Mouvement Populaire de la Révolution) 1 0.2
Solidarity Movement for Democracy and Development (Mouvement Solidarité pour la Démocratie et le Développement) 1 0.2
Maï Maï Movement (Mouvement Maï-Maï) 1 0.2
Political Organisation of Kasavubists and Allies (Organisation Politique des Kasavubistes et Alliés) 1 0.2
Congolese Party for the People's Well-Being (Parti Congolais pour le Bien-être du Peuple) 1 0.2
National Unity Party (Parti de l'Unité Nationale) 1 0.2
National People's Party (Parti National du Peuple) 1 0.2
Rally of Christians for the Congo (Rassemblement des Chrétiens pour le Congo) 1 0.2
Rally of Congolese Ecologist-The Greens (Rassemblement des Écologistes Congolais, les verts) 1 0.2
Rally for Economic and Social Development (Rassemblement pour le Développement Économique et Social) 1 0.2
Congolese Union for Change (Union Congolaise pour le Changement) 1 0.2
Liberal Christian Democrats Union (Union des Libéraux Démocrates Chrétiens) 1 0.2
Union of Congolese Nationalist Patriots (Union des Patriotes Nationalistes Congolais) 1 0.2
Union for the Defence of the Republic (Union pour la Défense de la République) 1 0.2
Independents 63 12.6
Others 2 0.4
Total 500 100

Presidential run-off

During late October 2006, as the date for the presidential run-off approached, security concerns were increasingly expressed. On October 26, the CEI stated that the North Kivu province could see security threats. While MONUC stated that they "'do not foresee any major problems,'"[55] the next day, on October 27, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that he was "very concerned about the increasing level of violence as election day approaches"[56][57] The head of the South African observer mission, Mluleki George, stated, however, that he expected the election would "'be held under normal and peaceful conditions.'" As well, rebel leader Laurent Nkunda reiterated he will respect the results,[58] a pledge which was also expressed by Bemba.[59]

On October 29, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (which a day before condemned police violence against its correspondent[60]) reported that despite delays in the Kinshasa area, caused by heavy rains, voting was "running smoothly in most other parts of the DRC."[61] The African Union hailed "the smooth conduct" of the election and appealed for calm as vote counting began.[62] Carter Center chief observer, former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark, stated that "attempted manipulation of the electoral process, while very serious in a few cases, appear at this point to be isolated and unlikely to affect the overall success of the vote."[63]

Clashes in Equateur

During the first day of voting, violent clashes in the Equateur province resulted in two fatalities.[64][65] MONUC stated later in the day that "the situation has returned to calm and voting operations are taking place normally throughout Equateur." Additional reports of clashes remained unconfirmed, but these appeared to have been limited to Equateur.[66]

Rioting in Ituri

On October 30, as vote counting began, MONUC reported that a soldier killed two poll workers in the town of Fataki, Ituri Province, resulting in riots which led to the destruction of 43 polling stations. The reason for the shooting remain unclear, but it appears that the soldier was drunk.[67] The soldier has been sentenced to death for the murders.[68]

Partial preliminary results (2nd round)

The results of the presidential run-off are to be released on November 19, 2006.[56] On October 30, voter turnout was estimated to have been low.[69] The head of the CEI, Apollinaire Malumalu, warned on November 1 against releasing partial preliminary results to prevent the same violent clashes which followed during the election's first round.[70]

Pre-release of interim results (2nd round)

Three days later, however, the CEI decided to prerelease partial preliminary results to stem the spread of rumours,[71] a decision analogous to the unscheduled prerelease that took place during the first round. On November 6, results from 12 of 169 constituencies showed Kabila in the lead.[72] On November 8, the two candidates met and issued calls for calm. The meeting came as accusations from Bemba's coalition were directed against the CEI for skewing the results in favour of Kabila, a claim dismissed by a CEI official as false and inflammatory.[73]

On November 10, with votes from 112 of 169 constituencies counted and with a voter turnout of about 67 percent, Kabila was leading with about 60 percent of the votes.[74]

Clashes in Kinshasa (2nd round)

On November 11, a shootout took place for several hours after police had fired shorts in the air to disperse Bemba's supporters who demonstrated nearby Bemba's residence in Kinshasa to protest vote counting during the run-off. The shooting ceased after MONUC mediated a meeting between representatives of the two groups. At least four people were reported to have died in the clashes.[75] On November 13, DRC police arrested 337 people, including 87 children, suspected to have been involved in the November 11 clashes.[76]

Partial results contested by Bemba

On November 14, Bemba rejected the results of the election,[77] which showed Kabila with 60 to Bemba's 40 percent, with 90 percent of the votes (159 out of 169 constituencies) having been counted. Bemba's supporters stated that "the Union for the Nation will not accept an electoral hold-up that aims to steal victory from the Congolese people", and that they were not bound by their promise to accept the results if they thought there was electoral fraud.[78] Bemba's UFN coalition maintained he was leading with 52 to Kabila's 48 percent.[79]

Interim results (2nd round)

The results released by the CEI on November 15 and were confirmed by the Supreme Court on November 27.

province registered voters voted part. invalid empty counting Bemba Kabila
Kinshasa 2,950,884 1,685,250 57.11% 27,082 23,492 1,650,276 1,122,231 528,045
Lower-Congo 1,227,775 633,463 51.59% 19,438 3,807 610,218 452,409 157,809
Bandundu 2,925,126 1,480,921 50.63% 26,580 4,541 1,449,400 877,560 571,840
Equator 2,923,680 2,468,917 84.45% 20,961 6,067 2,441,889 2,372,326 69,563
Oriental 3,241,423 2,069,325 63.84% 66,909 21,332 1,981,084 406,532 1,574,552
North Kivu 2,451,475 1,888,975 77.05% 33,842 13,100 1,842,033 65,373 1,776,660
South Kivu 1,651,262 1,388,001 84.06% 20,487 3,545 1,363,969 23,115 1,340,854
Maniema 626,327 502,487 80.23% 4,525 1,256 496,706 8,296 488,410
Katanga 3,473,936 2,625,458 75.58% 31,380 7,725 2,586,353 161,378 2,424,975
East Kasai 1,975,430 842,926 42.67% 14,219 3,823 824,884 556,088 268,796
West Kasai 2,010,405 1,033,756 51.42% 20,746 3,221 1,009,789 774,514 235,275
Total 25,420,199 16,615,479 65.36% 286,369 72,509 16,256,601 6,819,822 9,436,779
% total 41.95% 58.05%

Interim results contested by Bemba

On November 17, Bemba told reporters that he rejects the interim results, citing irregularities. He said that he "cannot accept the results that are far from reflecting the truth of the election results," and that he would "use all the legal channels to respect the will of our people."[80] Bemba, on November 18, filed a complaint to the Supreme Court over his claims of electoral irregularities. A member of his UFN coalition had said that: "there were many, many irregularities. It was not at all democratic. We are confident the supreme court will correct the result."[81]

Supreme Court fire

On November 21, part of the Supreme Court building was burned down amid gunfire during a session in which the Court was reviewing an electoral fraud complaint. No casualties were reported. The direct cause for the fire was unclear, but it followed a demonstration by Bemba supporters who were seeking entry into the building. According to Interior Minister Denis Kalume, "armed men who infiltrated the demonstrators opened fire on the police and from then everything went haywire." MONUC, who evacuated judges, lawyers, and CEI officials from the building, attributed the incident to "uncontrolled elements."[82] On November 22, it was announced that the Supreme Court would be relocated to several parts of the capital, and possibly, the country.[83] The South African observation mission and the Carter Center both expressed approval of the second round.[82][84] Bemba's coalition lawyer Delly Sesanga, however, argued in favour of "the cancellation of the poll" due to "too many irregularities."[82] Tensions remained high after the DRC army surrounded Bemba's compound in Kinshasa.[85]

Kabila issues ultimatum to Bemba

On November 23, about 50 soldiers of Bemba's security detail in Kinshasa, estimated at 600-to-1,000 soldiers,[86][87] left his residence there and were moved to one in Maluku following pressure by Kabila for Bemba to move some, or all,[88] of his troops within 48 hours.[89][90] A Kabila official, however, said that this was "absolutely not an ultimatum." Another 100 of Bemba's troops were expected to leave the capital later in the day.[87] On November 24, the "ultimatum" expired with few, if any, additional Bemba troops removed from the capital. This made it increasingly likely that Kabila would order the DRC army, which continued to surround Bemba's compound, to remove Bemba's soldiers itself. Such an act would greatly increase the likelihood for further armed confrontations.[91] MONUC has said that, if needed, its peacekeepers will help the DRC army to enforce the ultimatum.[92]

Offensive by Nkunda in Sake

On November 25, forces loyal to General Laurent Nkunda engaged more than 2,000 soldiers against the DRC army 11th Brigade around the town of Sake (near Goma), Nord-Kivu. Three soldiers and three civilians were killed, and close to 20 people were wounded. MONUC has sent 1,000 soldiers to secure the area. According to UN, "'15 000 and 20 000 people had been displaced by the fighting.'" MONUC spokesperson said that by morning "there were still some shots, but calm was mostly restored," and that Nkunda forces had retreated back and "all of the 11th Brigades's positions are under control,"[93][94] On November 26, MONUC reported that it had clashed with Nkunda's forces who were moving toward Goma, stating: "we fired warning shots from attack helicopters and our troops on the ground have engaged them in Sake."[95] It was later suggested that the attack may not have been related to the election, but rather, was in reaction to the "killing of a Tutsi civilian who was close to one of the commanders in this group." The UN called on the DRC government to negotiate with Nkunda and on November 27, DRC Interior Minister, General Denis Kalume, was sent to eastern DRC to begin negotiations.[96] Sporadic fire was still reported on November 29.[97]

Result (2nd round)

On November 24, three days after the fire, the Supreme Court resumed its activities in a small, heavily-guarded room in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bemba lawyers, however, questioned the impartiality and number of judges involved, arguing that too many of them favour Kabila. Bemba's lead attorney Jean-Marie Tshibangu stated that: "it is not the competence of the court but the competence of its composition that we are challenging."[98] On November 26, presiding judge Kalonda Kele said a ruling over Bemba's challenge would be announced the next day.[99]

Supreme Court ruling

On November 27, the Supreme Court dismissed Bemba's challenge as "unfounded" and confirmed that Kabila had won the election, stating that: "Mr Kabila Kabange, Joseph, is proclaimed president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, elected by absolute majority."[100][101]


After being declared winner, Kabila hinted that Bemba will play a role in the new government, stating that "the effort now must be nation building, it must be reconstruction. The government that will be put in place will be a government of coalition."[102] Bemba, who boycotted the hearings after the Supreme Court refused to consider further challenges over alleged "systematic cheating", was not immediately available for comment.[103] On 28 November, Bemba released a statement saying that while he condemns the ruling, he accepts the results and is prepared to lead a "strong republican opposition in the interests of the nation".[104][105] Kabila was sworn in as president on December 6.[106]


  1. ^ a b "Partial DRC election results to be released", Independent Online, August 7, 2006
  2. ^ (French) "Publication du calendrier de la suite des opérations électorales", CEI, July 31, 2006
  3. ^ "DRC records 80% voter turnout", South African Broadcasting Corporation, August 20, 2006
  4. ^ (French) "List of definitive candidates to the presidential elections", CEI, July 2006
  5. ^ "First results posted in DR Congo", BBC News, 2006-07-31
  6. ^ "World leaders back Congo polls as democracy test", South African Broadcasting Corporation, July 29, 2006
  7. ^ "Historic elections get under way in DRC", South African Broadcasting Corporation, July 30, 2006
  8. ^ "MONUC: Ituri militia agreements are very important for elections security", MONUC, July 28, 2006
  9. ^ "Congo voting extended in area of boycott", CNN, July 31, 2006
  10. ^ a b Congo drone crash compounds EU soldiers' image problem, Euobserver, 31 July 2006.
  11. ^ On September 1, the Carter Center released its report on the election's first round, finding it "credible," without "evidence of widespread or systematic manipulation." Still, it pointed to "important procedural flaws that weakened the transparency of the process." ("Carter Center Finds DRC Elections Credible, But Warns of Important procedural Flaws", Voice of America, September 1, 2006)
  12. ^ a b "Concerns over election results in Congo" [1], Radio New Zealand, August 6, 2006
  13. ^ a b "Congo ballots go up in flames", MONUC, August 6, 2006
  14. ^ "Congo elections 'teetering on brink'", The Independent, August 5, 2006
  15. ^ "Rebel troops clash with army in eastern Congo", South African Broadcasting Corporation August 5, 2006
  16. ^ "UN: Too Early to Declare Winner Despite Early DRC Election Results", Associated Press, August 8, 2006
  17. ^ "DRC poll workers arrested for falsifying results", ABC News, August 12, 2006
  18. ^ "DRC election officials arrested for fraud", Independent Online, August 11, 2006
  19. ^ "SA observers happy with DRC vote count", Mail & Guardian, August 15, 2006
  20. ^ "Ethnic rivalry overshadows DRC poll count", Mail & Guardian, August 15, 2006
  21. ^ "Angola reinforces troops on DRC border", Mail & Guardian, August 16, 2006
  22. ^ "DRC: UN peacekeepers again accused of sex abuse", Mail & Guardian, August 17, 2006
  23. ^ "Hate messages in DR Congo media targeting ‘white people’ spark UN concerns", United Nations, August 17, 2006
  24. ^ Vote Count Continues in Congo Election, Washington Post, 2006-08-15
  25. ^ "UN worried about DRC hate messages", Wits Journalism Programme, August 20, 2006
  26. ^ "Presidential runoff expected ahead of Congolese election results", Deutsche Presse-Agentur, August 20, 2006
  27. ^ This is the pre-February 2006 Constitution provincial composition.
  28. ^ "Congo poll heads for runoff, gunfire in Kinshasa", Reuters, August 20, 2006
  29. ^ "Kabila Faces Runoff in Congo; Violence Delays Ceremony", New York Times, August 20, 2006
  30. ^ "DRC: presidential run-off, Special Broadcasting Service, August 20, 2006
  31. ^ Kinshasa calmer after peace deal, BBC News, August 22, 2006
  32. ^ "Legislative election results in DR Congo expected any time, says UN mission", United Nations, August 25, 2006
  33. ^ "Officials start to release DRC results ", AFP, August 28, 2006
  34. ^ "10 DRC election workers held", Associated Press, September 4, 2006
  35. ^ "Kabila likely to head DRC", Reuters, September 4, 2006
  36. ^ "DRC: Parliamentary polls results out, no party gains majority", Reuters September 8, 2006
  37. ^ a b "Congo-Kinshasa: Fresh Fighting After SA Envoy Rescued in DRC", Cape Argus, August 22, 2006
  38. ^ "CIAT includes the ambassadors of the five United Nations Security Council permanent members: UK, PRC, France, Russia and the US; as well as Angola, Belgium, Canada, Gabon, Zambia and South Africa and officials from the UN peacekeeping mission MONUC, the European Union and the African Union."
  39. ^ "DRC: Candidate's residence attacked", Mail & Guardian, August 21, 2006
  40. ^ "Kabila, Bemba Forces Fight in Congo Capital", Voice of America, August 21, 2006
  41. ^ "UN frees diplomats trapped in Congo attack", CBC, August 21, 2006
  42. ^ "UN presses Congo factions to end Kinshasa fighting", SABC, August 22, 2006
  43. ^ "DRC rivals withdraw forces", AFP, August 22, 2006
  44. ^ a b "DRC police fire shots as fragile truce holds", Mail & Guardian, August 24, 2006
  45. ^ "23 killed in DRC violence", AFP, August 24, 2006
  46. ^ "Fragile DRC ceasefire holding", SABC, August 24, 2006
  47. ^ "SAA flights resume to DRC", Independent Online, August 24, 2006
  48. ^ "DRC presidential rivals to meet", AFP, August 26, 2006
  49. ^ "Bemba boycotts Kabila meeting", AFP, August 26, 2006
  50. ^ "Opposing Congo camps to meet under UN supervision", AFP, August 29, 2006
  51. ^ "DRC poll rivals meet for talks", AFP, August 29, 2006
  52. ^ "Candidates Working to Prevent Violence During Runoff", MONUC, August 30, 2006
  53. ^ "DRC supreme court postpones release of final presidential election results", People's Daily, September 5, 2006
  54. ^ "MONUC satisfied with DRC electoral process but concerned with humanitarian situation", MONUC, September 6, 2006
  55. ^ "DRC's security threats troubling: IEC", South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 26, 2006
  56. ^ a b "Congo-Kinshasa: Annan 'Very Concerned' At Rising Violence Ahead of Sunday's Elections", United Nations, October 27, 2006
  57. ^ "Pre-election violence in Democratic Republic of Congo worries Secretary-General", Relief Web, October 27, 2006
  58. ^ "DRC rebel leader commits to peace", South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 27, 2006
  59. ^ "DRC: I will not fight if I lose election - Bemba", Reuters, October 27, 2006
  60. ^ "SABC condemns beating of reporter in DRC", Mail & Guardian, October 28, 2006
  61. ^ "Heavy rain delays voting in Kinshasa", South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 29, 2006
  62. ^ "AU hails DRC polls, appeals for calm", Mail & Guardian, October 31, 2006
  63. ^ "DRC Observers Seek Transparency in Vote Counting", Voice of America, November 1, 2006
  64. ^ "DRC election marred by violence", News24, October 29, 2006
  65. ^ "DRC police open fire as voters go to polls", Independent Online, October 30, 2006
  66. ^ "DRCongo vote mostly peaceful", Special Broadcasting Service, October 30, 2006
  67. ^ "DRC hit by post election riots", News24, October 30, 2006
  68. ^ "DRC soldier to be killed for murdering officials", South African Broadcasting Corporation, October 31, 2006
  69. ^ "Low turnout, minor incidents mark DRC elections", Angola Press, October 30, 2006
  70. ^ "DR Congo: CEI urges vote results caution", Angola Press, November 1, 2006
  71. ^ "DRC officials get tough on rumour mill", Mail & Guardian, November 3, 2006
  72. ^ "Early Election Results Released to Dispel Rumours in Strife-Torn DR Congo - UN", United Nations, November 6, 2006
  73. ^ "DRC presidential candidates meet", Independent Online, November 8, 2006
  74. ^ Kabila maintains lead in DRC presidential vote", Mail & Guardian, November 11, 2006
  75. ^ "Calm returns to DRC capital after election-related violence", People's Daily, November 12, 2006
  76. ^ "DRC: Police arrest 337 over Kinshasa clashes", Reuters November 13, 2006
  77. ^ "DRC's Bemba rejects results showing Kabila win", Mail & Guardian, November 14, 2006
  78. ^ "Bemba rejects DR Congo poll loss", BBC News, 14 November 2006
  79. ^ "DRC: Partial data shows Bemba leads in elections", Spero News, November 14, 2006
  80. ^ "DRC: Bemba rejects poll results", Reuters, November 17, 2006
  81. ^ "DRC loser goes to supreme court", News24, November 18, 2006
  82. ^ a b c "DRC: Part of the Supreme Court burnt amid gunshots", IRIN, November 21, 2006
  83. ^ "DRC: Supreme Court to be relocated after fire", Reuters, November 22, 2006
  84. ^ "DRC Supreme Court burns after election clashes", Mail & Guardian, November 21, 2006
  85. ^ "Tension still high in the DRC", South African Broadcasting Corporation, November 22, 2006
  86. ^ "First Bemba troops moved from tense Congo capital", Reuters, November 23, 2006
  87. ^ a b "Bemba's military force reduced in DRC", Independent Online, November 23, 2006
  88. ^ Little detail is available on Kabila's letter to Bemba where these demands were listed.
  89. ^ "Bemba troops start to leave DRC capital", People's Daily, November 23, 2006
  90. ^ "Some of Bemba's soldiers moved from Kinshasa as deadline looms", The Star, November 24, 2006
  91. ^ "Accept Congo results", New Vision, November 24, 2006
  92. ^ "UN says it will support Congolese troops enforcing Kinshasa ultimatum if needed", United Nations, November 24, 2006
  93. ^ "Top DRC court to rule on presidential challenge", Mail & Guardian, November 26, 2006
  94. ^ "Congo Warlord's Fighters Attack Forces", Washington Post, November 26, 2006
  95. ^ "UN says engages rebels as army flees Congo town", Reuters, November 26, 2006
  96. ^ "UN Calls for Negotiations in Eastern DRC", Voice of America, November 27, 2006
  97. ^ "DRC: Sporadic fighting continues near Sake", IRIN, November 29, 2006
  98. ^ "Congo court resumes election case as deadlines loom", Reuters, November 24, 2006
  99. ^ "DRC court to announce ruling on Bemba challenge Monday", The News International, November 26, 2006
  100. ^ "Congolese court dismisses Bemba challenge", Independent Online, November 27, 2006
  101. ^ "DRC Supreme Court confirms J. Kabila as President", MONUC, November 27, 2006
  102. ^ "Ex-guerrilla Kabila wins Congo ballot box mandate", Reuters, November 27, 2006
  103. ^ "Congo Court declares Kabila president", Reuters, November 27, 2006
  104. ^ "Bemba accepts DR Congo poll loss", BBC News, 28 November 2006
  105. ^ "DRC: Bemba condemns poll ruling but ready to lead opposition", Reuters, November 29, 2006
  106. ^ "Joseph Kabila sworn in as Congo's elected president", Reuters, December 6, 2006.

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