|06KINSHASA1774||2006-11-21 09:01:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Kinshasa|
1. (U) Summary: Presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba,
in his capacity as President of the Movement for the
Liberation of the Congo (MLC), filed six separate complaints
with electoral authorities of alleged irregularities in the
DRC's October 29 election. Most were general and not backed
up by evidence. The Independent Electoral Commission (CEI)
has responded to four of the six complaints of its handling
of the votes and vote counts. Bemba has since filed formal
complaints with the Supreme Court in accordance with
electoral law (ref A). End summary.
2. (SBU) In his November 16 statement challenging the results
of the October 29 DRC elections (ref B), presidential
candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba charged that the Independent
Electoral Commission had responded to only two of six written
complaints. Bemba allies have been vocal on this issue,
erroneously claiming that the CEI has refused to respond to
any of his allegations of irregularities (ref C).
3. (SBU) In fact, the CEI had responded to four of the
written complaints submitted by Bemba, acting in his capacity
as National President of the MLC, by that time his statement
was issued. Analysis of the documents indicates that the
complaints were general in nature and lacked supporting
evidence. The CEI responses concluded that there were no
irregularities sufficient to overturn the results.
4. (U) In his first complaint, dated November 8, Bemba cited
alleged "anomalies and irregularities" in various parts of
the east. Specifically, he claimed that his party witnesses
were denied access to voting stations "in all of the bureaus
in South Kivu, North Kivu, North Katanga and Maniema," in
violation of electoral law; this would represent several
thousand stations. He also claimed that voter turnout in
those areas was exceptionally high, implying that the numbers
5. (U) The CEI responded in separate letters November 10 and
11 that alleged violations of electoral law must be brought
before a court, rather than the CEI. They also noted that,
without more details regarding specific polling stations,
they could not investigate generalized complaints of
allegedly inflated numbers. For those stations which Bemba
specifically cited, the CEI arranged for a recount at the
local compilation center, and even rescheduled the recount at
the request of Bemba's party witnesses.
6. (U) In his second complaint, dated November 9, Bemba
alleged an allegation of "infiltration of false ballots" at
an unspecified compilation center in Bandundu province.
(Note: There are six compilation centers total in Bandundu.
End note.) The CEI has not yet provided a direct response to
7. (U) In his third complaint, also dated November 9, Bemba
alleged that there were "flagrant anomalies" in vote counts
in the city of Lodja, Eastern Kasai and the regional
compilation center in Lusambo. The CEI responded that it had
already explained the vote count to Bemba's representatives,
but ordered a re-count in the Lusambo center. It noted, "The
witnesses for the Union for the Nation haven't wanted to
collaborate in this exercise, taking into account the urgency
of answering this question, we would be happy if you use your
authority to order them to participate without delay."
8. (U) Bemba's fourth complaint, dated November 10, focused
primarily on the number of votes by special dispensation (ref
D). In its response, the CEI noted it was conducting a
review of these votes. It also refuted allegations of
several "fictitious voting stations" in Lubutu that were
raised in the same complaint, noting that the station numbers
noted were actually part of a different territory.
9. (U) In his fifth complaint, dated November 12, Bemba
raised questions regarding the large number of ballots cast
by voters on "omitted" and "special" lists. The CEI
responded by distributing a CD-ROM which contained specific
lists representing voters expected to participate, voters
identified on the annotated lists, and absentee voters on
each of the omitted and special voters lists. It closed by
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stating that "the CEI considers that all of your concerns
have been completely addressed."
10. (U) CEI officials confirmed that Bemba filed a sixth
complaint, dated November 16, but told us they would not
consider a response since the letter largely repeated issues
they had already addressed. This complaint was not submitted
to the CEI until after its announcement of provisional
election results November 15 (ref E).
11. (SBU) Comment. The focus is now on the Supreme Court,
which Bemba has asked to annul the results of the
presidential election based on "irregularities" (ref A). The
court has seven days from November 19 to issue its findings
on all complaints brought before it, and to certify the
provisional results announced on November 15. End comment.