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Congo’s least bad elections: How a fragile democracy inched forward—and how it can consolidate the gains


  1. ignorabimus
    essentially the argument is on Congo's 2006 elections (emphasis mine):

    essentially the argument is

    But the election’s flaws should not obscure the fact that it did not feature the degree of violence that has marked past races. In a fragile democracy plagued by conflict, elections can crystallize antagonisms; peace or violence during an election reflects the nature of political participation and can serve as a prism through which to understand the progress of nation-building efforts. Although there were some irregularities in the official tallies, voters did appear to back Tshisekedi—an unusual result for an electorate that typically seeks to oust the incumbent. Despite many disappointments, the Congolese people continue to embrace the democratic process. Now Tshisekedi must reward that faith by delivering real progress on the country’s most tormenting problems—among them the persistent insecurity in the country’s east and some regions’ feeling that they are still sidelined in the nation-building project.

    on Congo's 2006 elections (emphasis mine):

    distrust between the main candidates yielded a race marred by tension and violence. The international actors who helped oversee Congo’s democratic transition directed more energy toward mollifying the wars’ former belligerents than toward addressing the concerns voiced by unarmed opposition figures. That bias pushed the party led by Étienne Tshisekedi, Félix Tshisekedi’s father—who had served as Congo’s prime minister in the 1990s—to boycott the election. And the large presence of international election observers did little to prevent three days of armed clashes after the results were announced, resulting in several dozen deaths and sparking fears of a return to civil war. Despite the violence, however, the 2006 election revealed elements of the voters’ wishes. Most former rebel leaders did dismally in the regions their armed groups once ruled, and Kabila lost in the areas that had remained under his control.

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