DR Congo’s Bemba calls upcoming election a ‘parody’

Jean-Pierre-Bemba
Former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba

Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former DR Congo warlord-turned-politician who has been banned from running in the country’s upcoming presidential election, on Tuesday told FRANCE 24 that the December vote will be nothing but “a parody”.

Bemba was one of six presidential hopefuls who were banned from running in the December 23 election by the country’s election commission. Bemba appealed the ruling, but on Monday, the Constitutional Court upheld the decision, citing his International Criminal Court (ICC) conviction for bribing witnesses during his war crimes trial.

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Bemba denounced the looming election as a sham, saying it is being controlled by the government.

The Constitutional Court is under orders from the current government,” he said in a telephone call from Belgium. “What we’ll see in the next months is a selection of candidates chosen by the ruling party, which will lead to a parody of an election, if there even is an election, come December.”

Bemba also said the ballots are already being rigged.

It’s very worrying that opposition candidates are being chosen, and that these electronic voting machines are used nowhere else in the world. And that there are six million fake voters who are registered on the voting lists. This is how the stage has been set for what should be democratic, transparent and inclusive elections.