Here below are the quick fact about the country and these historical polls:
- DRC is the largest country in Africa by land mass with a population of 71 million.
- There are 11 Presidential candidates and 18,500 parliamentary candidates with voters traveling to 63,000 polling stations.
- DRC has $24 trillion of known mineral deposits. 80% of all known coltan reserves – coltan is required for every mobile phone, computer, games consol and TV.
- DRC has the agricultural potential to feed 2 billion people (nearly a third of the world’s population).
And the leading opposition figure Étienne Tshisekedi states that ‘You cannot have a stable Africa without a stable DRC and that there is an overwhelming cry for change among the people of the DRC.
- Calling himself the “Congo’s Nelson Mandela”, Étienne Tshisekedi is standing for the Presidency for the first time in his 78 year stand against corruption, rape and violence in the country.
- His campaign team alleges that the current President is using the mechanisms of the state to stay in power – including paying $25,000 to his MPs, and more $50,000 for opposition parliamentarians earlier this year to pass a law, removing the “Presidential runoff vote” in an attempt to make it easier for him to stay in power.
- The current regime’s despotic and corrupt nature is forcing out USA, UK and EU investors because of corruption concerns. Driven by corporation CSR and also the Dodd Frank act.
- Lack of western investors has opened the field up to China, which has been signing massive central government deals to secure the resources they need.
- Current breaking news by UK MP Eric Joyce on the flipping of state assets to enrich the President and his close friends. Details on Eric’s blog.
- No US coherent policy on DRC due to it complexities, but strategic importance to the west demands a rethink.
- 100 US Marines ‘quietly’ stationed recently in the North East of the country to hunt down remaining rebels who control mineral deposits and continue the cycle of violence.
- The US State Department seems content to allow the election to be corrupted in an attempt to reduce violence and instability in the country
- A forgotten country, which requires attention – not just for the moral justifications but for real-politic.
- US and western companies and consumers need the DRC mineral wealth for growth.
- A new government will allow western consumers to deal with the Congo through the front door and not through the back door – which will help end the terrible cycle of violence, rape and murder in East of the Congo.
- The largest mobilization of observers and logistical election support in the world has been deployed