DR Congo blocks opposition TV



The Democratic Republic of Congo has blocked the signal of a TV station perceived as close to the opposition.

Government spokesman, Lambert Mende, accused Canal Congo of announcing results of Sunday’s much-delayed presidential election before the official announcement, AFP reports.

The blockage came days after the internet was shut down nationwide.

Along with blocking Canal Congo, the authorities have also cut the broadcasts of Radio France Internationale (RFI) and withdrawn the accreditation of one of its journalists, Florence Morice, accusing her of violating electoral law.

“We are not going to let radio station throw petrol on the flames at a time when we are waiting for the compilation of the provisional results,” Mr Mende told AFP.

The opposition has complained of irregularities in the election to find a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who is stepping down after 17 years in office and has promised DR Congo’s first orderly transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Counting is under way and provisional results were initially expected to be announced on 6 January, but the electoral commission now says there could be a delay, Reuters reports.

The head of the commission, Corneille Nangaa, said counting centres were still waiting for more than 80% of voting tallies to be submitted by local polling stations.

Regional monitors – from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community – have described last Sunday’s election as “reasonably well-managed”.

But the Roman Catholic Church’s observer team reported more than 100 cases of election monitors being denied access to polling stations.

There are 21 candidates, but three frontrunners:

Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister and Kabila loyalist, who was hit by European Union sanctions for his role in the violent suppression of opposition protests in 2017; Martin Fayulu, a former oil executive who has promised “a dignified and prosperous Congo”, but who poor Congolese feel may not advance their cause.

Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo, the son of a late veteran opposition leader who has promised to make the fight against poverty his priority. BBC

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