Tens of thousands of politicians, including 26 top candidates, launched a month-long election campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday, in a tense political environment and against a backdrop of fighting in the east.
Opposition heavyweights did not stop mobilising their base, while President Félix Tshisekedi, who is seeking a second term, held a reception where his party announced his achievements in many areas. Félix Tshisekedi himself led the way to the end from the first day, in the meeting at the Martyrs stadium in Kinshasa, when one of his main opponents, Martin Fayulu, insulted the crowd in the neighbouring area.
On December 20, about 44 million registered voters out of about 100 million people will be called to choose their president, and they will choose from more than 100,000 candidates. and regional and local legislative elections. A record, like the election, determined to organise the election on time, despite the logistical difficulties in this country of 2.3 million km2 and very limited resources.
Trésor Kibangula, a political analyst at the Ebuteli Research Institute, says: “There is a political agenda that wants the elections to be held early, but there are doubts about the technical competence. Sylvain Lesoye, a priest interviewed at a conference outside Kinshasa, believes that "from an organisational point of view, Céni does not reassure you", saying that the voters' cards are not good, including registration and photo completion.
"To waste my time."
"Céni knows this is a challenge he has to face; his credibility depends on it," said political scientist Jean-Luc Kong. "The scary thing is the problem in the East," he says.
The violence by the armed forces has continued for almost 30 years in the region that has the highest crisis and the return to the situation of the first rebellion (M23), which was fought by Rwandan neighbourhood support and took over a large part of North Kivu. Because of the conflict, two districts in the region will not be able to hold elections properly, but if the capital city of Goma itself falls, the whole process will be destroyed.
M23 "will not take Goma", insisting that Félix Tshisekedi, who has made the return of peace a priority while he is involved in improving the daily life of the Congolese, making wealth and diversity, building roads and public buildings, and respecting freedom of speech, click on the word. The overall picture is mixed, according to the researchers, and tragic, according to the opposition, which paints a gloomy picture of the situation and immediately criticises organised fraud.
In addition to Martin Fayulu, who claims that he was robbed of victory in 2018, the main opposition is Moïse Katumbi, the former governor of the mining region of Katanga, Dr Denis Mukwege, a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work supporting homosexuals and women, and two former prime ministers.
Representatives of five of them met this week in South Africa to discuss the possibility of a joint coalition against the outgoing president, the favorite, especially in the one-round elections.
An alliance was formed and a formal program was adopted, but only the ministers of the four people were going to do it, and the Fayulu camp did not participate in the project. Voters are divided by the value of the vote.
Eunice, 20, a geography student, will vote for the first time and says she is "excited" to do so for her chosen one, who she hopes will improve the quality of life. But Ezekiel, another 24-year-old IT student, was disappointed. There will be "tricks, like in 2018," he said. Besides, "I won't waste my time at the polling station."