They have created a momentum in the region. Parties to stop allowing presidents handpick candidates but allow the Democratic process take its course.
More lessons are that opinions polls in Africa are still unreliable but good experiments to continue trying.
Further, Africa needs to invest more in efficiency and timely result management systems to avoid creating room for suspicions and speculations for manipulation.
Composition of the electoral body consists of political parties (opposition and ruling) and CSOs and currently being headed by a CSO leader.
The people’s determination to vote and have a new and fresh start cannot be stifled or suffocated regardless of the unfriendly electoral situation.
It also seems the Congolese abandoned the 50%+1 threshold for a winning presidential candidate, which is good for the state of democracy in Congo otherwise a run off would have been more chaotic that the first vote.
Another lesson is that the stability and sustainability of political coalition and alliances in Africa isn’t an easy undertaking.
Felix and Martin were in the same alliance before nomination and had agreed to field Martin as Presidential candidate but party members of Felix’s party found the alliance deal not done in broad consultations with majority members leading to his pulling out and standing on his own party’s tickets.
The Pentecostal church in Congo produced both the provisional winner and the runs up candidates. Both Felix and Martin go to the same Pentecostal church.
The role of the Church in Congo helped change the electoral and political tide in country where CSO/NGO presence is very limited.
Zambian church, CSOs and political parties both ruling and opposition, electorate and electoral body can draw Lessons from the just ended elections in Congo DR.
By MacDonald Chipenzi