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Broadcast Journalist and Multimedia Producer based in Paris, France

Satan, exorcism and magic T-shirts – our favourite rumours from DRC presidential poll

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"I've voted, check out my indelible ink" - Voter at Institut De La Gombe in Kinshasa

"I've voted, check out my indelible ink" - Voter at Institut De La Gombe in Kinshasa

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa is a rumour mill. No more so that during the country’s 2011 presidential elections. The Congolese are sometimes superstitious, at times moralistic and always feverish in their chatter about the latest rumour. This has only been amplified by the country’s polls. Here’s a collection of RFI’s favourite election rumours.

Radio France Internationale

  • The magic pen: Bring your own pen to mark the election ballot paper. The pens handed out by the electoral commission use invisible ink. Once you mark your vote and post it in the ballot box the ink will disappear in 10 minutes, making your choice useless.
  • Mysterious candidate photos: Don’t look at the first candidate’s photo on the presidential ballot paper. It has special powers given to it by Satan. If you look at the photo it will force you to vote for it.
  • Special campaign materials: Don’t accept campaign materials from anyone, including leaflets or T-shirts. If you accept campaign materials it will enable the candidate to possess your body. You will only be exorcised once the elections have finished and the candidate has forced you to vote for them.
  • Deadly money: Don’t accept money from election candidates. If you accept their money you will die.
  • Election premonition: The events of the elections correspond to the Bible’s Book of Revelations. UDPS party leader Etienne Tshisekedi is Satan while the unrest before the election and airport standoff are birth pangs leading to the end of the world.
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