As the campaign period kicked off in the Democratic Republic of Congo this past week, a fragmented opposition was scrambling to battle it out with the ruling party’s juggernaut.
Some have even a proposed a postponement of the December 23 polls, saying they may not be credible.
A section of the opposition is pushing for a negotiated two-year transitional government.
Politicians who attended a Geneva meeting that picked a joint opposition candidate said Martin Fayulu was told to lead a transition government the they hoped to negotiate with the Joseph Kabila administration.
“We picked Mr Fayulu as the person capable of leading the transition so that he can organise a credible election in two years when those who are in exile and those who have been barred by the electoral body can participate,” said David Mialano, who was part of the delegation in Geneva.
He did not say how they hoped to get the Kinshasa administration to agree to the proposal.
Opposition member Moise Katumbi of the Together for Change coalition was blocked from returning from self-exile to present his nomination papers, while Jean Pierre Bemba of the Movement de Liberation a Congo (MLC) was barred by the electoral body over a case of witness tampering at the International Criminal Court.
However, Felix Tshisekedi and Vital Kamerhe — who were part of the deal — later withdrew their signatures and are running on a single ticket.
The opposition insist that it is not possible to hold credible elections on December 23 because of a number of factors and are now reaching out to President Kabila to allow negotiations.
The opposition are opposed to use of a new voting technology that they say could be used to rig elections.
The Constitution provides for manual voting but the government is insisting on the electronic method in the vast country which has no reliable electricity supply.
The South Korean technology had been rejected in Argentina and the United States and European countries. The opposition therefore expressed concern that the 100,000 new electronic voting machines are untested and could allow fraud.