News / Africa

Diplomats Agree Kabila Won Congo’s Poll, Says Official

A supporter of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is grabbed by a Congolese riot police officer outside his candidate's headquarters in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, December 8, 2011
A supporter of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is grabbed by a Congolese riot police officer outside his candidate's headquarters in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, December 8, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Lambert Mende, Congo's information minister

Peter Clottey

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Information Minister Lambert Mende says diplomats agree that incumbent Joseph Kabila won the disputed election. They announced their opinion late Wednesday.

Mende says they expressed concern about how the Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) administered the November 28 presidential and legislative elections. His comments came after government officials met with foreign diplomats to review last month’s elections.

“We did acknowledge the remarks from observers that showed that there was a lot of dysfunction in the way the electoral commission is working, and we tried to scrutinize the reasons,” said Mende. “This was mainly because of the lack of experience of these young electoral [officials]. And it was due to the violence that spread out all over the country following some actions from the opposition.”

Main opposition challenger Etienne Tshisekedi rejected the results and declared himself president, citing fraud and voter irregularities. Other opposition groups echoed similar concerns and have instituted a legal challenge at the Supreme Court.

Some poll observers, including the European Union and the U.S.-based Carter Center, say the election was flawed.    The Carter Center said the vote was marred by wide variations in the quality of vote counting.

In a statement released late Saturday, the center said there was evidence that results from nearly 2,000 polling stations in the capital, Kinshasa, were lost. It said multiple locations around the country reported 99 to 100 percent voter turnout, with most or all of the votes going to the incumbent president.

But Information Minister Mende says there was a collective agreement among diplomats that Mr. Kabila won the presidential election, despite voter irregularities and alleged fraud during the poll.

“They [diplomats] said that all these dysfunctions did not affect at all the result as they were proclaimed by the electoral commission. This was a key issue during that meeting,” said Mende. “We reviewed all these reports and none [is] challenging the fact that Kabila won. Even the Carter Center didn’t say Kabila didn’t win.”

He said the diplomats did call for an improvement in the organization of subsequent elections in the DRC.

“Let us have the electoral commission [to] enjoy the technical support from some countries who offered support, like the United States and the United Kingdom, so that it brings more amelioration for the [future] elections,” said Mende.

He also says the diplomats urged the government to begin a reconciliation effort to reduce tension following the disputed election.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs