News / Africa

Incumbent President Lost DRC Vote, Says Opposition Candidate

Opposition UDPS members hold up blood-splattered poster of leader Etienne Tshisekedi after presidential guard opened fire on crowd outside N'Djili airport in Kinshasa, November 26, 2011.
Opposition UDPS members hold up blood-splattered poster of leader Etienne Tshisekedi after presidential guard opened fire on crowd outside N'Djili airport in Kinshasa, November 26, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Clottey interview with Vitale Kamerhe, DRC presidential candidate

Peter Clottey

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) is scheduled to release the final results of the presidential and legislative elections today (Tuesday).

An opposition candidate insists main challenger Etienne Tshisekedi won the presidential vote despite initial figures showing incumbent Joseph Kabila ahead in the poll.

Vitale Kamerhe said the opposition parties are united in their rejection of the outcome, citing voter irregularities and fraud.

“We refuse the results from [electoral chief] Pastor Mulunda because he presented wrong results and we cannot accept it.”

Several opposition parties say CENI skewed the presidential election in Mr. Kabila’s favor – an accusation denied by commission officials.

Both the African Union and the U.S.-based Carter Center poll observer missions encouraged the parties to accept the results of the presidential and legislative elections, despite problems encountered by the electoral commission in administering the vote.

African Union and other African observers have said the election was successful despite logistical problems.

Analysts have expressed concern that the opposition’s decision to reject the outcome could plunge the country into chaos. Kamerhe said the international community should intervene to prevent tension, avoid bloodshed and maintain peace.

“During the press conference, I asked [for] African mediation, because we must talk now and come up with solutions -- before all the results are published,” said Kamerhe. “I asked Pastor Mulunda to postpone the publication of the results to keep peace, because we are at a very critical moment in our country.”

Some of the president’s supporters rejected opposition calls to postpone the release of the results, saying the move would create a constitutional crisis. Kabila’s term is officially scheduled to end on December 6. But Kamerhe said Congolese will have to determine their fate, despite the constitutional requirement.

“That belongs to the people. The people are the ones to determine their future,” said Kamerhe. “The people don’t like Kabila now. The people chose Tshisekedi and the opposition and if Kabila wants something, then he must go to Tshisekedi [for dialogue].”

He also said President Kabila has turned down several opposition attempts to meet with them to resolve their concerns ahead of the announcement of the outcome.

“He refused to talk to us,” said Kamerhe. “But I am for the talks because dialogue is good to prevent conflicts.”

Thousands of people are fleeing Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, fearing the announcement of election results Tuesday will spark violence. Police in the neighboring Congo Republic say at least 3,000 people have arrived in the capital, Brazzaville, since December 2.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs