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September 12th, 2006
Democracy in the Rough
Map: Elections 2006: Places, Politics and Players: Introduction

Capital: Kinshasa | Population: 62 million | Median Age: 16 years | Area: 900,000 sq mi | Major Languages: Lingala, French, Swahili, Kikongo, and Tshiluba

July 30 Elections:

Presidential Results
Registered Voters: 25,420,199 | Total Votes cast: 17,931,238 – 70.5%
Invalid/Blank Votes: 993,704 | Total Valid Votes: 16,937,534
Total Presidential Candidates: 33

Joseph Kabila: 7,590,485 – 44.81%
Jean-Pierre Bemba: 3,392,592 – 20.03%

Antoine Gizenga: 2,211,280 – 13.06%
Nzanga Mobutu: 808,397 – 4.77%

Joseph Kabila, 35

Joseph Kabila became the interim president of the DRC in January 2001 following the assassination of his father, Laurent Désiré Kabila. Born in the South Kivu and raised in neighboring Tanzania, Kabila returned to the DRC, where he became a major-general in the Congolese Army, during his father’s rule.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, 43

Jean-Pierre Bemba, leader of the Ugandan-backed Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), is the DRC’s interim vice-president in charge of finance. Bemba, from Equateur Province, is a former adviser to Mobutu Sese Seko and took part in the rebellion against Joseph Kabila’s father.
Legislative Results
PPRD (Joseph Kabila): 111
MLC (Jean-Pierre Bemba): 64
PALU (Antoine Gizenga): 34
RCD (Azarias Ruberwa): 15

(Note: These are provisional presidential results released by the Commission Electorale Independante)

An East-West Split: As predicted, the election results illustrated the dramatic east-west division in the DRC, a country divided by language (Lingala-Kiswahili) and a vast, unpaved geography. In almost no provinces were the races between the two candidates remotely close. In the east — the Kivus, Province Oriental, Katanga, and Maniema — the people cast an overwhelming majority of votes for Joseph Kabila. Together these provinces represent 11 million of the 25 million of the DRC’s voters. In contrast, in the west, the vote was by a large majority for Jean-Pierre Bemba, with the exception of Bandundu Province, where Antoine Gizenga beat them both by a large margin. In the legislative elections, of the 500 seats, Kabila’s PPRD party received the most with 111, to Bemba’s MLC with 64. Neither have sufficient seats to make a majority.

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