Congo election facts of the day

  • 32 million voters
  • More than 19,000 parliamentary candidates for 500 parliamentary seats
  • MPs paid $6,000 (£3,887) a month
  • The Kinshasa ballot is a 56-page booklet of more than 1,500 candidates
  • 4,000 tonnes of ballot papers
  • 61 helicopters and 20 planes are delivering the election material

From an internal NGO memo I saw yesterday. In case you didn’t take it all in, I reemphasize: the Kinshasa ballot is a 56-page booklet.

Also not to be missed: Newt Gingrich’s PhD dissertation on (who knew?) Belgian Education Policy in the Congo. An excerpt:

Belgian Colonialism left the Congo with a solid infrastructure… but a pathetically inadequate leadership cadre

Personally I’m not so impressed with America’s education system and leadership cadre at the moment.

Readers: Esteem and notoriety go to those who find the best Gingrich quotes on African history.

Finally, for salacious details on yesterday’s Congo elections, see Jason Stearns. Other reader suggestions?