Daily Video

November 30, 2011

Egypt, Congo Hold Crucial Elections

Groundbreaking elections are being held in two African countries: Egypt and Congo.

In Egypt, crowds stood in line for hours to cast votes for a new parliament.

Meanwhile, the Congolese people endured violence and brutal attacks to cast their votes in a presidential and parliamentary election. One attack targeted a truck carrying ballots and killed at least five people.

In Congo, incumbent President Joseph Kabila is seeking re-election against 10 opposition candidates. Kabila assumed the presidency of the former Belgian colony once known as Zaire after the assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila, 10 years ago. The elder Kabila led the revolution that brought down the country’s dictator of 32 years, Mobutu Sese Seko. That plunged the country into two civil wars lasting nearly a decade, until a peace agreement produced the country’s first democratic election in 2006.

Egypt’s relatively peaceful election followed mass demonstrations against the military in which more than 40 people died. The elections are staggered over the next several months, with final voting taking place in March.


“I think it’s a good experience for all Egyptians to have true elections and to give his voice to the one who deserve it and to begin a new time of democracy.” – Egyptian voter

Warm Up Questions

1. Where is Egypt?

2. Where is the Congo?

3. What are elections? Why do they sometimes incite violence?

4. What is a democracy?

Discussion Questions

1. Why does violence sometimes flare up during an election? Why do you think some groups in the Congo tried to launch attacks during the election?

2. Why do you think Egypt’s elections are so spread out instead of being held all on one day?

3. When do we hold our elections for Congress and president?

4. Why is fraud always a concern in elections? Why might fraud be harder to detect in some countries’ elections than in others?

Additional Resources

Video Transcript

Revolution Isn’t Easy: Egypt Struggles For Democracy

Civil War in Congo Tied to Natural Resources and Ethnic Rivalries

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