News / USA

Congo Government Says Opposition Creates Climate of Fear

Supporters of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who has rejected results declaring President Joseph Kabila the winner, demonstrate in Brussels, December 10, 2011.
Supporters of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who has rejected results declaring President Joseph Kabila the winner, demonstrate in Brussels, December 10, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Joseph Kabila's government says the main opposition candidate is creating a climate of fear by refusing to accept the president's re-election.

Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende says opposition candidate Etienne Tshisekedi is acting irresponsibly by refusing to accept results that show he lost last month's vote to President Kabila.

Mr. Tshisekedi is committing a grave violation of the constitution by trying to subvert the decision of electoral authorities and declare himself president, Mende said.

The government, he added, has taken no disciplinary action against Mr. Tshisekedi, and all that is expected of the long-time opposition leader is that he respect the law like everyone else.

Congo's electoral commission Friday declared President Kabila re-elected with nearly 49 percent of the vote. Its final total gave Mr. Tshisekedi 32 percent of ballots cast.

Following those results, Mr. Tshisekedi said that the announcement was a provocation against the Congolese people, and he now considers himself president by the people's will.

Mr. Tshisekedi called on the international community to step in to avoid what he says could be “a new bloodbath on Congolese territory.”

Mende said the opposition leader's call for international action is “totally irrational.”

"What does he want the international community to do?," the minister asked. "Is this some sort of 'Hand of God' that over-rules the constitutional court and the Congolese people?"

Mendes asserted that the Congolese people did not choose him, adding that  Mr. Tshisekedi is seeking recourse through the international community because he has no other choice.

Mr. Tshisekedi's party says Congo's supreme court lacks the independence to rule fairly on electoral challenges. The opposition candidate is calling on his supporters to remain calm and await further instructions.

Some protestors burned cars in the capital's 20 May neighborhood, where heavily-armed policemen Saturday arrested several people, pushing them into unmarked vehicles and beating those who resisted. On Saturday, the situation remained tense in several cities in Congo, with sporadic gunfire erupting in the capital, Kinshasa.  

Four people have been killed in the country since Friday, when protesters and police clashed in Kinshasa following announcement of the election result.

Mr. Tshisekedi's call for calm comes at the same time that he is attacking the electoral commission and the constitution because there is no constitutional provision for politicians declaring themselves president, Mendes said. He said the opposition leader's actions violate the law and are entirely unacceptable.

Electoral commission chief Daniel Ngoy-Mulunda says the election results are no reason to “whip up the population against the established order to contest the results, or to settle scores."

Human Rights Watch says at least 18 people were killed and 100 injured in pre-election violence.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging Congolese to avoid further violence.

The US State Department says Congolese authorities should complete the electoral process “with maximum openness and transparency,” calling on all political leaders and their supporters to act responsibly and resolve any disagreements through existing legal channels.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid