In certain localities of the Bapere sector in the Lubero territory, North Kivu, electoral operations continued on Monday, December 25th, several days after the official closure on December 20. The delayed deployment of electoral equipment was attributed to the inaccessibility of the region by land. The question arises: why did the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) continue to open polling stations beyond the initial deadline?
Acknowledging that some polling stations remained open until Monday, CENI President Denis Kadima, while expressing a preference for completing the process in a single day, provided context:
“The most important thing is not to dwell too much on the fact that we extended beyond the first day. The truth is, if we don’t do it, some political parties will take us to court because they won’t have reached the electoral threshold simply because we didn’t allow them to participate in the vote.”
Presidential candidate Martin Fayulu expresses bitterness, asserting that the extended voting period facilitated various fraudulent activities. He claims, “At night, ballot boxes are stuffed. Some individuals voted multiple times. Some use solvents to vote repeatedly.”
Fayulu argues that this extension goes beyond legal frameworks. However, Denis Kadima responds, “If we are beyond the law, we are not beyond the Constitution. The Constitution obliges us to allow every Congolese to participate in the vote and express their choice.” CENI does not rule out the possibility of additional polling stations opening on Tuesday, December 26.