A man examines voting materials at Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission tallying centre in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on January 1 2019. Picture: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER
A man examines voting materials at Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission tallying centre in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on January 1 2019. Picture: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER

The US House foreign affairs committee has urged authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure votes are counted transparently, saying Sunday’s presidential election had been “neither free nor fair”. 

The country went to the polls to find a successor to long-serving President Joseph Kabila in a vote that was already two years overdue, with Kabila’s protege Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary running for the governing coalition. The two main opposition alliances said on Monday the election was disorderly and people couldn’t vote in some anti-Kabila areas because of broken voting machines or missing voter rolls.

Any irregularities must be addressed and “votes need to be counted transparently and expeditiously”, committee chair Ed Royce said late on Tuesday. “The United States needs to redouble its efforts to support the Congolese people, who want a peaceful transition and a government that responds to their priorities. Our European and African partners need to step up, too.”

Provisional results are expected by January 6 and the final decision on January 15.

Bloomberg