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DRC: Anti-voting machine protest planned in Boma November 3 /update 2

Opposition plans anti-voting machine protest in Boma (Kongo Central province) November 3; clashes between opposition supporters and police possible

01 nov. 12h19 UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 31/10/2018, 12h00 until 3/11/2018, 11h59 (Africa/Kinshasa). COUNTRY/REGION Boma
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Event

Opposition parties in Boma (Kongo Central province) have informed the mayor of their intent to hold a demonstration in Kalamu municipality from 10:00 to 15:00 (local time) on Saturday, November 3, to denounce the planned use of electronic voting machines in the upcoming December election. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near the demonstration site. Clashes between opposition protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out. Similar demonstrations are possible in major cities over the coming days and weeks.

Context

On October 26, thousands of demonstrators marched through Kinshasa and other major cities to protest the planned use of electronic voting machines in the December 23 election.

President Joseph Kabila has announced he will not run in the presidential election and has come out in support of his political ally, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary. Kabila had refused to step down after his term expired in December 2016.

Opposition supporters and civil society activists accuse the government of excluding key opposition candidates, such as Moïse Katumbi and Jean-Pierre Bemba, from the presidential elections. They also denounce inconsistencies in the electoral register, including 6 million registered voters whose fingerprints have not been digitally recorded, casting doubts on the government's ability to carry out transparent elections. Finally, the use of the voting machines in these elections is highly contested due to the alleged risk of fraud.

Advice

Individuals in Boma are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.

 

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