INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Drc Elections: Voting Completed, Compilation Begins

Published: Mon 30 Oct 2006 01:31 PM
VZCZCXRO4014
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1677/01 3031331
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301331Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5072
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 KINSHASA 001677
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: DRC ELECTIONS: VOTING COMPLETED, COMPILATION BEGINS
REF: KINSHASA 1675 (AND PREVIOUS)
1. (U) Summary: The DRC's October 29 presidential run-off and
provincial assembly elections generally passed smoothly and
peacefully, with only a few logistical problems and isolated
incidents of violence reported. Officials with the major
political parties have expressed their overall satisfaction
with the course of voting operations. Anecdotal accounts
indicate voter turnout was slightly lower than in the July 30
elections, except in the Kasais. The Independent Electoral
Commission (CEI) is now collecting ballots and tally sheets
from the country's 50,045 voting sites and delivering them to
62 compilation centers nationwide. End summary.
2. (U) Kinshasa remains calm the morning after the October 29
vote. Traffic is moving normally, businesses are open, and
MONUC and EUFOR continue to patrol and maintain a very
visible presence.
3. (SBU) One serious incident was reported overnight in Ituri
District in the area of Fataki, approximately 30 miles
northeast of Bunia. CEI and MONUC officials said two
Commission workers who had been working the polls October 29
were shot and killed by members of the Congolese military
early the morning of October 30 while heading home. The
incident does not appear to have been politically motivated,
however. Shortly afterwards, members of the victims' families
reportedly attacked nine voting centers in the city. CEI
officials said 43 voting stations were destroyed along with
all their materials, including ballots. Eight CEI workers
were apparently injured. The CEI has sent a delegation from
Bunia to Fataki to assess the situation and to make a
recommendation as to possibly re-opening voting operations.
4. (SBU) Representatives of both President Kabila and Vice
President Bemba told us they were generally pleased with the
way voting took place. Officials with Kabila's Alliance for
the Presidential Majority (AMP) told us they are confident
Kabila will win, albeit by a slim margin. A senior Bemba
adviser was equally confident Bemba will win, adding that his
party's observers are "angry" with attempts by AMP partisans
to cheat. The adviser provided no proof of his allegations of
cheating, however. Both camps said they believed turnout was
lower than in the first round, especially in some of the
eastern provinces, but that turnout in the Kasais was higher
than anticipated.
5. (U) CEI President Abbe Apollinaire Malu Malu said in an
interview with Radio Okapi the evening of October 29 that
voting operations went smoothly throughout most of the
country. He noted that according to the Commission's
electoral calendar, provisional presidential results will be
announced no later than November 19. CEI spokesman Dieudonne
Mirimo told us the Commission considers the second-round
elections to have been a "success," despite some incidents
that took place in Equateur province (reftels). Malu Malu
said in some locations, the wrong provincial ballots had been
delivered to voting stations, but local solutions were
quickly found to remedy such problems.
6. (U) Malu Malu said the CEI will open an inquiry into the
events in Bumba in Equateur province that resulted in the
closure of a dozen voting centers. The CEI is sending a
delegation to Bumba October 30 to assess the situation and
assist in re-opening on October 31 the polling sites that
were affected.
7. (U) The European Commission issued a communique October 29
congratulating the Congolese people for their participation
in the election. EU Development Commissioner Louis Michel
said the vote demonstrated the maturity of the Congolese
people and represented a real opportunity for the country to
restart development, restore democratic governance, and
reestablish peace. He urged the people and political actors
to respect voting results and to maintain a climate of
tolerance and peace.
8. (U) The electoral process now moves into the complicated
phase of collecting and compiling ballots. Materials from the
DRC's 50,045 voting sites will be transported beginning
October 30 to 62 compilation centers throughout the country
where CEI officials will tabulate and publish results for
each of the country's 189 electoral districts. (Note: After
the July 30 elections, the collection and compilation phase
was poorly executed, resulting in significant delays in
reporting results as CEI staff sifted through disorganized
KINSHASA 00001677 002 OF 002
piles of tally sheets, ballots and other paperwork. End
note.) Mirimo said initial reports from throughout the
country indicate collection is proceeding as scheduled and on
time.
9. (U) The CEI has since July refined its collection plan for
Kinshasa and other urban centers. Beginning October 30,
material will be collected at each polling site and delivered
to one of 14 collection points in the capital. From these
points, ballots and tally sheets are to be transported to one
central center where material will be sorted and organized
according to electoral district. Polling center chiefs will
also be required to verify they have ensured the delivery of
all documents. The last step in the collection process is to
send the collated materials to a main compilation center. At
this point, CEI workers will verify result sheets and
subsequently post results once all voting stations in an
electoral district have been accounted for. The CEI has said
the entire collection process should take approximately three
days to complete. Post will report on the collection and
compilation process septel.
MEECE
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