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.

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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid