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

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Activists for Peace Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs