Editor’s Note: January 09, 2019

Congo’s election chaos is worrying but not surprising

Democratic Republic of Congo’s high profile, chaotic presidential election is nearing its crescendo.

On Tuesday the campaign of leading opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi claimed it was meeting with outgoing president Joseph Kabila’s ruling party for transition talks, saying Tshisekedi was the ‘presumptive winner’ of the vote.

This was promptly denied by the ruling party, but the claim is fueling speculation that Kabila’s chosen successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary may lose the poll.

The conflicting reports encapsulate the uncertainty that has characterized the landmark vote, which has been marred by repeated delays and violence.

Delayed preliminary results, originally due by January 6, are expected later this week. The decision to push back the announcement, which the electoral commission blames on logistical shortcomings, has raised fears of vote rigging.

There is good cause for concern, with local observers oin Tuesday saying that it has witnessed 52‘major irregularities’ at 101 out of 179 vote-counting centers being monitored.

Tensions are already running high, and a disputed outcome could lead to volatility in Congo and the region

The prospect is worrying, but the election chaos should come as no surprise in a country without a history of competitive electoral politics, which has effectively been under autocratic rule since Mobutu Sese Seko seized power in a military coup in 1965.

From The Continent

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The Daily Stat

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The number of mining ministers Tanzania has had since president John Magufuli took office in 2015, the latest being announced on Tuesday. More: Reuters

The Global Perspective

The World Bank has cut its global growth forecast for 2019 to 2.9% in its latest economic outlook, warning of ‘darkening skies’ for the global economy. The lender cites trade tensions and rising market pressures, including development country debt, as key risks. More: BBC

Tunisia has signed a $171m agreement with the African Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to fund sanitation programmes in the north African country. The agreement covers 33 municipalities, with plans to build 24 wastewater treatment plants. More: Xinhua

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