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Congo election season in full swing, along with electoral problems

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I have just returned from a three week trip to Central Africa – I promise to compensate for my prolonged absence from this space with copious postings.

The electoral season is, of course, in full swing, as various political parties (UNC, MLC, PALU, UFC-Kengo, ADR-Mwamba) have held their congresses in Kinshasa. (I heartily recommend Alex Engwete's lively blog postings over the past two weeks on these events.) The last few weeks have seen a mixture of electoral ups and downs – on the one hand, the voter registration process has been marred by a series of alleged abuses, with accusations of children, "ghosts," and foreigners being registered across the country. My favorite story among these is that of a Cameroonian UN official whose visiting family had overstayed their visa by many months – instead of paying the fine, he simply decided to bribe electoral officials and get his wife and child registered as Congolese.


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