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

TEXT SIZE - +
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 Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid