Several members of the Congolese opposition have criticised the electoral commission for delaying long-awaited presidential elections by a week. The DRC's election body said it was necessary to push the polls back after voting materials were destroyed in a warehouse fire last week.
“More than two years after the expiration of the constitutional deadline, no delay is justifiable,” said the opposition Lamuka coalition, headed by presidential candidate Martin Fayulu. “In effect, the electoral commission and the illegitimate government of [President Joseph] Kabila have had ample time to prepare good, credible, peaceful elections,” a joint statement added.
Jean-Pierre Bemba, president of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo party and one of the leaders of the Lamuka coalition, went further and questioned the nature of the fire itself and whether it did in fact destroy the electronic voting machines, as announced by the electoral commission.
“There’s no proof that there were machines in this warehouse, no photos or images have been shown displaying burnt out electronic voting machines,” Bemba told RFI. “We absolutely don’t believe that the voting machines were burnt. I think it was an excuse,” he said, adding that they had “information about exactly what happened”.