Africa Now October 7, 2015 Elections in Haiti & DRC

Topics and Guests: Presidential Election in Haiti; and Upcoming Polls in the DRC.  Today Africa Now! continues to focus on the election process in Haiti.  The first round of the presidential election in Haiti are scheduled to take place on October 25 in which incumbent President Michel Martelly cannot participate.  That date will also feature local representatives (municipal elections), and second round of the legislative elections in places that had normal procedures on first round of the legislative elections on August 9.  Many in the civic society community saw the legislative elections of August 9 flawed as they were marred by bureaucratic missteps, fraud and violence.  October 25 will also be the date of places that failed to conduct the legislative elections on August 9.  Yesterday, October 6, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Port-au-Prince briefly to offer support to the October 25 election process.  Joining Africa Now! in the studio to discuss October 25 presidential election in Haiti is Mr. Jake Johnston.  Mr. Jake Johnston, is Research Associate, at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).   Mr. Jake Johnston is the lead author for CEPR’s Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch blog and has authored papers and articles on Haiti concerning the ongoing cholera epidemic, aid accountability and transparency and the U.S. foreign aid system in outlets such as The Hill, AlterNet, Truthout, and the Caribbean Journal.  He was in Haiti for the August 9 legislative elections.

Nearly two weeks from now on October 25, 2015, the polls will be busy in the African World: as mentioned above that is the date of the presidential election in Haiti; Côte d’Ivoire has presidential election then; Tanzania holds national elections that day; Congo Republic will have a referendum on October 25 as well on a change to the constitution to enable President Denis Sassou Nguesso to stand for a third term in 2016’s election; and it is when the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is scheduled to have provincial and local elections ahead of next year’s presidential election.  Since early this year in January there has been mobilization led by youth in DRC against the proposed extension of President Kabila’s term.   This has been met by an increased crackdown.  An example of this is the attack of a demonstration organized by political opposition leaders on September 15 calling for President Kabila not to extend his term beyond the constitutional mandated two term limit.  Human Rights Watch reported that the attackers were hired by the security force and ruling party officials.  Joining us today discuss the political situation in the DRC particularly the upcoming provincial elections is Mr. Maurice Carney.  Mr. Maurice Carney is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Friends of the Congo.  He has worked with Congolese for over fifteen years in their struggle for peace, justice and human dignity. Mr. Carney appears regularly providing analysis on the Congo on various media outlets such as Al Jazeera, ABC News, Democracy Now!, Real News Network, Pambazuka News, All Africa News, and more.

Originally broadcast on WPFW 89.3FM, Washington, DC.  Tune into Africa Now! live on WPFW 89.3 FM in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area or visit www.wpfwfm.org on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00PM (Eastern).