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DRC Opposition Figure Blames MONUSCO for Election Debacle

  • Peter Clottey

Young men suspected of being militant supporters of opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi are forced into a police truck as they are arrested near opposition party headquarters in the Limete district of Kinshasa, Congo, December 12, 2011.

Young men suspected of being militant supporters of opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi are forced into a police truck as they are arrested near opposition party headquarters in the Limete district of Kinshasa, Congo, December 12, 2011.

A top adviser for veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi says the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is to blame for the “fraudulent” November elections.

Albert Moleka, the cabinet director of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party and spokesman for Mr. Tshisekedi, said the UN mission failed in its mandate to help Congo’s electoral commission administer a credible vote during the November elections.

“We found out that all these election figures were all made up with the complicity of the MONUSCO because it was part of the commission that validated the results,” said Moleka. “It’s a serious matter because MONUSCO was supposed to [bolster] security for the Congolese people and also to help us through the electoral process.”

He said the electoral commission’s decision to halt the parliamentary vote counts proves both the legislative and presidential elections were a charade.

“It’s about time we put to an end this masquerade that began with the results of the presidential election,” said Moleka. “What we are seeing is that the same irregularities and fraud that were mentioned by all the observers’ mission were perpetrated again for the legislative elections. MONUSCO failed in its duty, and I want to emphasize that.”

Congo’s independent national electoral commission announced it was halting the parliamentary vote count until American and British experts review the legislative vote. The electoral body did not give a specific arrival date for the electoral experts.

Congo’s Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) declared incumbent Joseph Kabila winner of the presidential vote with over 48 percent. Mr. Tshisekedi was second garnering about 32 percent. Tshisekedi rejected the outcome and declared himself winner.

The U.S.-based Carter Center poll observer mission, which monitored the ballot, called into question the integrity of the election because of what it said were wide variations in the quality of vote counting.

Moleka says the electoral commission has a herculean task of organizing credible future elections.

He welcomed the U.S. State Department’s called for a review of the election results. In a statement U.S. envoy to Congo Ambassador James Entwistle said “the management and technical execution of these elections were seriously flawed.”

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