#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
DRC Election Controversy

The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen provisional election results revealing Felix Tshisekedi’s lead, which would allow him to enter his sixth year in presidency. Yet this result has been marred by a backdrop of controversy with worldwide implications. 

Every major opposition candidate in the race has said that they suspect the government of electoral fraud, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Denis Mukwege. This comes after reports of delayed electoral material, and claims of faulty voting lists and illegible voter cards. It seems to be an election of chaos, despite it being five years in the making, leaving voters frustrated and angry.  Independent radio, Studio Hirondelle RDC, has reported hordes of angry voters being subjected to lengthy queues at polling stations across the country. There is also a large section of the population who are not even able to cast their ballots due to displacement from conflict. 

These electoral disputes speak to a wider history of chaos and corruption in the DRC. The country is extremely rich in natural resources and the vast majority of the world’s electronics are made from its materials. However, the country’s wealth has been subjugated by colonial and commercial exploitation. This, combined with the country’s long history of corrupt governments and civil unrest has meant that its population has never reaped any of the benefits of this wealth. 

What the population has seen instead is the number of internally displaced people across the country climb to 6.9 million, after years of war and rebel violence. Its natural resources have meant that entire communities have been forcibly removed from their homes in order to expand copper and cobalt industrial mining projects. Thousands of children have also missed out on school to work in terrible conditions producing the cobalt we need for lithium-ion batteries, resulting in the US Department of Labour adding lithium-ion batteries to its "list of goods produced by child labour or forced labour". It said that “entire families may work in cobalt mines in the DRC, and when parents are killed by landslides or collapsing mine shafts, children are orphaned with no option but to continue working.”

Whoever is in control of the DRC and its resources evidently has innumerable implications, not just for its population but for the world. With so much external reliance on the country’s natural materials, inevitably, countries such as the UK have also come under close scrutiny during this election. The UK’s involvement with Rwanda is growing in controversy as it declares it a safe place for refugees despite objections from the UN.  The DRC accuses Rwanda of funding M23 militia who have continued conflict in eastern DRC, with the Rwandan government denying these allegations. However, with the UK paying £140m to Rwanda in 2022 and a further £100m this year, their asylum seeker deal has become even more controversial in the run up to this election. 

The DRC’s provisional election result is perhaps an indicator that business will continue as usual. Many countries around the world will continue to benefit from this course of action, but will the DRC? 

Edited by: Saarah Farzeen

Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in