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Cablegate: Drc Elections: Kabila Maintains Lead with 60

VZCZCXRO2045
PP RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1293/01 2281534
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 161534Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4613
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 001293

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPKO CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: DRC ELECTIONS: KABILA MAINTAINS LEAD WITH 60
PERCENT OF DISTRICTS REPORTING

REF: A. KINSHASA 1277

B. KINSHASA 1269
C. KINSHASA 1257

1. (U) Preliminary vote tallies from the Independent
Electoral Commission (CEI) through August 16 show 60 percent
of the DRC's electoral districts have reported their
presidential results. In the 101 of 169 districts having
finished compiling ballots, incumbent President Joseph Kabila
is leading Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba 52 to 15 percent.
Following the release of results from several voting
districts in Bandundu province, Antoine Gizenga is currently
in third place with nearly eight percent of the votes
counted. Initial figures also show Nzanga Mobutu in fourth
place with slightly more than five percent of the vote, and
Oscar Kashala in fifth place with nearly three percent of
those ballots counted through August 16.

2. (U) A total of 8,345,761 valid ballots have thus far been
counted. Kabila has received 4,352,913 votes of that total,
while Bemba has garnered 1,256,525 votes. Of those districts
reporting results to date, 49 are from the eastern region of
the DRC, 42 from the west, and the remaining ten districts
from the central part of the country. According to
preliminary figures released by the CEI, overall voter
participation is nearly 74 percent, higher than the DRC's 62
percent voter turnout rate in the December 2005
constitutional referendum.

3. (U) Initial results continue to show Kabila's base to be
in eastern DRC, while Bemba's is in the west, as expected. Of
the 48 voting districts Kabila has won to date, 45 are in the
eastern provinces of South and North Kivu, Maniema, Katanga,
and Orientale. Kabila has also won one district each in the
central provinces of Eastern and Western Kasai, plus one
district in Bandundu. Bemba has won 22 districts overall thus
far, with 19 coming from the western provinces of Bandundu,
Bas-Congo and Equateur; Bemba has also won three districts in
Eastern Kasai. All seven of the districts won by Gizenga are
located in his home province of Bandundu. Eight of the ten
provinces won by Mobutu come from his home province of
Equateur.

4. (U) No vote totals have yet been announced from the
capital Kinshasa. CEI President Abbe Apollinaire Malu Malu
said in a press conference August 15 that election workers
were still sorting through election material to find the
tally sheets from several neighborhoods in the city so as to
begin compiling the results. The problems in locating some
election materials have consequently delayed the posting of
results for Kinshasa's four electoral districts (with a
potential 2.9 million voters), which cannot be announced
until all polling stations in a particular district have been
accounted for and tabulated. Throughout Kinshasa, there were
8,518 voting locations during the July 30 vote. As of August
16, more than 94 percent of all ballots from the country's
49,746 polling sites have been collected and have either been
posted or are in the process of being verified. Malu Malu
said, however, that he still expects the Commission will be
able to announce nationwide provisional presidential results
as planned by August 20.

5. (U) Following the arrest of four election workers in
Kinshasa August 9 for attempting to falsify tally sheets (ref
A), the CEI reported August 15 that the head of the voting
compilation center in Kananga (Western Kasai) was arrested on
similar charges. According to CEI officils, the suspect
changed the results in favor of ne National Assembly
candidate, giving the candidte one hundred more votes than
previously recordd. CEI officials in Kananga were able to
catch te mistake after noticing a discrepancy between the
number of actual voters and those registered in he district
in question. The arrested CEI worker enied having falsified
any official documents.
6. (SBU) Comment: The arrest of several election orkers in
one week for attemptd fraud is a sign the CEI does have
safeguards in place. The fact that such incidents occurred
(as opposed to having been caught), however, will likely only
provide more "evidence" to those claiming the entire
electoral process is illegitimate. Delays in posting results
from Kinshasa, meanwhile, are beginning to cast doubt on
whether the CEI can keep its promise of announcing
provisional results by August 20. If no figures from the
capital are posted in the next days, the chances of meeting

KINSHASA 00001293 002 OF 002


the self-imposed August 20 deadline become less probable. End
comment.
MEECE

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