General elections were scheduled to be held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 23 December 2018, but were delayed by a week to December 30.
The elections were originally scheduled to be held on 27 November 2016 to determine a successor to incumbent President Joseph Kabila, but were delayed with a broken promise to hold them by the end of 2017. According to the constitution, the second and final term of President Kabila expired on 20 December 2016.
Incumbent President Kabila is constitutionally unable to participate and a cabinet minister has stated that he will not run.
According to Article 71 of the DRC Constitution, the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is elected by plurality vote in one round. Article 72 specifies that the requirements to stand as a candidate for the presidency are being a Congolese citizen and at least thirty tears old.
Article 101 of the Constitution provides the basis for electing a National Assembly. The 500 members of the National Assembly are elected by two methods; 60 are elected from single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting, and 440 are elected from 109 multi-member constituencies by open list proportional representation, with seats allocated using the largest remainder method.
The electoral commission delayed declaration of the results until 10 January 2019.
Felix Tshisekedi, one of the opposition candidates, was declared the winner of the election with 38.5 per cent of the vote. This result was disputed by other candidates and observers, including Martin Faluyu who was widely expected to be the winner but who was officially the runner up with 34.7 per cent.
The Catholic Church, the only non-governmental organisation with a presence across the country, was sceptical from the start about the validity of the results:
We take note of the publication of the provisional results of the presidential election which, for the first time in the recent history of our country, opens the way to change at the top of the state… However, from the analysis of the elements observed by this mission, we find that the results of the presidential election … do not correspond to the data collected by our observation mission from the polling and counting stations. (via CNN https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/09/africa/drc-election-felix-tshisekedi-intl/index.html)
Sources and Further Reading:
Democratic Republic of Congo presidential elections delayed
Congo opposition leader says will return home by June
Congo’s war was bloody. It may be about to start again
What next for the DRC if election goes ahead, as promised?
Congo’s 2018 elections: an analysis of implausible results
Financial Times coverage of DR Congo
Al Jazeera comment piece on the election and aftermath