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Voting Day in DRC: preliminary observations

By European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, November 29, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The joint electoral observation mission of AETA (Agir pour des Elections Transparentes et Apaisées) and EurAc (European Network for Central Africa) note that in spite of all the rumours announcing the postponement of the elections, these have taken place as foreseen on 28 November 2011. AETA and EurAc note that in a number of polling stations visited, there has been a strong commitment of the actors involved.

However it draw the attention of the national and international public opinion on the following facts observed both in Kinshasa and the provinces on the basis of the first observation reports received so far.

 The failure of the system with the late opening of a number of polling stations some of which only managed to get voting under way between 11h and 13h.

 The total or partial absence of election materials in several polling stations particularly the ballot papers and voting booths.

 Flagrant non respect of voting secrecy in many polling stations

 In many cases registered card holding voters did not appear on the lists and were not allowed to vote despite CENI's decision yesterday which clarified that they would be able to vote. This caused frustration and consequent disorder and dismay.

 The setting up of additional satellite polling stations, some of which unknown by voters requiring in some cases voters to travel long distances

 Failure to ensure protection of the ballot papers with the consequence that a number of ballot papers were found outside the polling stations, in the possession of unidentified citizens. In some cases the ballots had already been completed

 Some of these recorded cases have created tensions that have put national and international observers in danger.

The Joint AETA/EurAc mission inform public opinion that it will continue to collect and record cases and will communicate in due time.

Meanwhile it asks:

CENI:

 To take all necessary measures against cases of ballot papers manipulations that has created so much popular frustration and to clarify the situation to national and international public opinion.

 To take into account these findings and make sure that the process continues in a transparent and peaceful way.

Agents responsible for security during the elections:

- To protect voters, witnesses, observers and candidates.

JOINT AETA – EURAC ELECTORAL OBSERVATION MISSION