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Death of democracy: Bidhannagar municipal elections turn into battle ground

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By Arnab Mitra

Saturday’s municipal elections at three municipalities in West Bengal– Asansol, Bidhannagar-Rajarhat and Bally — reported booth capturing along with brick batting and false voters at various booths.

As many as 40% false voters were reported at the election booth at the Karunamoyee crossing, Salt Lake.

At the election booth at Labony Estate Saltlake, the TMCP goons threw bricks and bombs at the police and media personnel.

When a NewsGram reporter chased the goons at the Baishakhi high school, one of them passed him life threatening comments:

“Kahan se aya hai tu? Jaan se maar dunga!”

The Trinamool goons also physically abused the CPI (M) and BJP candidates at many places. One of the CPI(M) polling agent Amit Goswami, was also badly beaten up at a polling booth in Karunamoyee.

Police were mostly absent from these areas and even if present, chose not to intervene.

CPI (M) candidate of Baisakhi, Ofelia Sinha told the press that her repeated complaints were ignored as the State Election Commission and the police are supporting the Trinamool goons.

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Photos by: Arnab Mitra

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Poll Recount Urged By Regional Blocs in Democratic Republic Of Congo

Pre-election polls indicated that Fayulu was the favorite to replace outgoing President Joseph Kabila.

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Congo
Supporters of the runner-up in Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election, Martin Fayulu, hold up a sign ahead of a political rally in Kinshasa, DRC, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

A southern African regional bloc urged officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo Sunday to recount the votes of its recent contested presidential election.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) called for a unity government in a statement issued by Zambian President Edgar Lungu, citing examples of similar deals struck in Zimbabwe and Kenya.

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was declared the winner of elections Sunday, but runner-up Martin Fayulu has challenged the outcome of the country’s election in court, claiming that his opponent made a deal with outgoing president Joseph Kabila.

Congo
Felix Tshisekedi, leader main DRC opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) who has been declared the winner of the presidential elections, gestures to his supporters in Kinshasa, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

Fayulu’s opposition coalition said Friday he captured 61 percent of the vote, citing figures from the Catholic Church, which placed 40,000 election observers across the Central African country. The coalition said Tshisekedi won 18 percent of the vote. By law, only the electoral commission can announce election results in Congo.

Fayulu, who has members of the Republican Guard deployed outside his home, called for a manual recount of the election.

Pre-election polls indicated that Fayulu was the favorite to replace outgoing President Joseph Kabila. Kabila backed another candidate, his former interior minister, Emmanuel Shadary.

Congo
Congo opposition candidate Martin Fayulu greets supporters as he arrives at a rally in Kinshasha, Congo, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

Fayulu’s opposition coalition said Friday he captured 61 percent of the vote, citing figures from the Catholic Church, which placed 40,000 election observers across the Central African country. The coalition said Tshisekedi won 18 percent of the vote. By law, only the electoral commission can announce election results in Congo.

Fayulu, who has members of the Republican Guard deployed outside his home, called for a manual recount of the election.

Also Read: Congo’s President Challenges Election Result In High Court

Pre-election polls indicated that Fayulu was the favorite to replace outgoing President Joseph Kabila. Kabila backed another candidate, his former interior minister, Emmanuel Shadary. (VOA)