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Cablegate: Drc Elections: With 46 Percent of Districts

VZCZCXRO9776
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1277/01 2261358
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141358Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4594
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 001277

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPKO CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: DRC ELECTIONS: WITH 46 PERCENT OF DISTRICTS
REPORTING, KABILA STILL IN LEAD

REF: A. KINSHASA 1269

B. KINSHASA 1257
C. KINSHASA 1209
D. KINSHASA 1162

1. (U) As of August 14, 46 percent of the DRC's electoral
districts have reported results from the DRC July 30
presidential election. In the 78 of 169 districts having
announced results, incumbent President Joseph Kabila is
leading Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba 55 to 17 percent.
Nzanga Mobutu, the son of former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko,
is currently in third place with nearly 4 percent of the
votes counted. Three other candidates -- Antoine Gizenga,
Oscar Kashala, and Pierre Pay Pay -- each have approximately
3 percent of the initial results. A total of 6,211,584 valid
votes have been counted thus far, with Kabila garnering
3,401,548 and Bemba receiving 1,028,651. Of those districts
reporting results, 39 are from eastern DRC, 30 are from the
west, and the remaining nine are from the central region of
the country.

2. (U) The initial results continue to show Kabila doing
well, as expected, in the eastern provinces. Kabila has won
37 voting districts overall, all but one (in Eastern Kasai
province) from eastern DRC. Bemba has won 21 districts thus
far, nearly all of which (except for three in Western Kasai
province) are in the western part of the country. According
to the preliminary vote counts, Mobutu has picked up five
districts -- four in Equateur province and one in Orientale
province; Kashala has won four -- one in Western Kasai, two
in Eastern Kasai, plus one in Bas-Congo province; and Gizenga
has won three districts --two in his native province of
Bandundu and one in Bas-Congo.

3. (U) Bas-Congo is the first province to have posted all of
its presidential results. According to CEI figures, Bemba
carried the province with 36.2 percent (308,954 votes) of the
overall 853,300 votes there, while Kabila came in second with
13.9 percent (118,684 votes). Kasavubu and Kashala were
nearly tied for third place in Bas-Congo, garnering 6.59
percent (56,209 votes) and 6.50 percent (55,459 votes),
respectively.

4. (U) According to the most recent initial figures from the
Independent Electoral Commission (CEI), voter participation
in the reporting districts was high. In the 78 reporting
districts, voter turnout is currently 73.5 percent. The
highest reported participation rate thus far was in the Fizi
district with 99.3 percent (123,369 participants from the
124,233 registered voters); the lowest reported rate to date
was in the Eastern Kasai district of Lupatapata, with 15.6
percent participation. (Note: Low voter turnout was expected
because of an opposition party boycott of the election in the
Kasai provinces, but participation in the region may be even
lower due to election day violence during which several
voting stations were destroyed, ref C. End note.)

5. (U) Results from the important Kinshasa voting districts
have not yet been announced, but are expected soon according
to CEI officials. According to CEI figures, more than 80
percent of ballots from the 49,746 polling sites have been
collected and are in the process of being compiled and
verified. CEI officials continue to say the Electoral
Commission will announce nationwide provisional results for
the presidential race no later than August 20.

----------------------
CEI OFFICIALS ARRESTED
----------------------

6. (U) CEI officials confirmed that six election workers at
the Kinshasa compilation center were arrested August 9 when
they were caught trying to alter the minutes of voting
operation records from various polling stations in the
capital. CEI President Abbe Apollinaire Malu Malu said the
Commission is currently investigating the incident. CEI
spokesman Dieudonne Mirimo said the fact that the six were
caught indicates "sufficient" safeguards are in place to
prevent fraud during the vote counting process.

---------------------------------------------
15 CANDIDATES ALLEGE "MASSIVE IRREGULARITIES"
---------------------------------------------

7. (U) Fifteen of the 33 presidential candidates released a

KINSHASA 00001277 002 OF 002


statement August 11 denouncing "massive irregularities" in
the July 30 presidential and legislative elections, as well
as the "complicit silence" of the international community in
the face of such problems. The declaration follows a similar
pre-election statement made by 19 of the presidential
candidates (the 15 plus four others) that called for a
"freeze" to the election campaign so that certain
"shortcomings" of the electoral process could be addressed
(ref D). The four candidates not signing on to the most
recent statement are Justine Kasavubu, Oscar Kashala, Nzanga
Mobutu, and Joseph Olenghankoy. (Comment: Perhaps not
surprisingly, these four candidates are doing better in the
initial election results than most of the other 15, who
collectively have won approximately nine percent of the votes
counted thus far. End comment.)

8. (U) The current declaration alleges the July 30 elections
were "tainted by massive and flagrant irregularities"
throughout the country with a "complicit silence" from the
International Committee to Accompany the Transition (CIAT),
MONUC, and national and international election observers. The
15 candidates charged that the election did not meet the
minimal conditions for transparency and cannot in any way
produce a new democratic order in the DRC. Among the alleged
"irregularities" from the group of 15 are cases of fraudulent
records of voting operations, voters being bribed, and the
"uncontrollable number" of excess ballots that permitted the
stuffing of ballot boxes in Kinshasa. The statement concludes
that the CEI, CIAT, MONUC and public authorities will alone
be responsible for the harmful consequences which would
result from these problems.

--------------------
COMMENT: SOUR GRAPES
--------------------

9. (SBU) The latest charges of voting irregularities from the
group of 15 is little more than a case of sour grapes. Just
as their pre-election appeal to suspend the campaign fell on
deaf ears, so likely will this one. Initial voting results
demonstrate these particular candidates had no widespread
appeal among the voting population in the first place, and
will unlikely be able to generate any popular support for
their cause. More importantly, as other Congolese groups --
notably the Catholic Church and other religious groups --
announce they are initially satisfied with the electoral
process, these candidates only look all the more like sore
losers. End comment.
MEECE

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