News / Africa

Congo President Says Re-Election Credible, Opposition Must Obey Laws

Supporters of incumbent President Joseph Kabila are seen celebrating through a banner with his image after provisional election results are announced in Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, December 9, 2011.
Supporters of incumbent President Joseph Kabila are seen celebrating through a banner with his image after provisional election results are announced in Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, December 9, 2011.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Joseph Kabila is rejecting suggestions that irregularities in last month's vote cast doubt on the legitimacy of his re-election. The leading opposition candidate is rejecting those results and has declared himself president.

President Kabila says there were clearly problems with a vote that stretched to a third day in some areas because of the late delivery of ballots. The electoral commission says results from nearly 2,000 polling stations in the capital were never recorded. But the president says there is no doubt he won.

"The credibility of these elections cannot be put in doubt.  Were there mistakes, errors?  Definitely," he said. "Definitely. Like in any other election - be it on the continent or otherwise. But does it put in doubt the credibility of the elections? I don't think so.”

Electoral observers from the U.S.-based Carter Center say vote results were “mismanaged,” compromising the integrity of totals that show longtime opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi losing to President Kabila by more than three million votes.

“That doesn't mean, and we are not able to say at this point, whether that affects the finishing order of the candidates," said David Pottie, the associate director of the Carter Center democracy program. "But it does really call into question, and should call into question, the integrity of this results process writ large.”

Speaking to reporters at the presidential palace, Kabila said it is notable that no other election observers have backed up the Carter Center claims.  

Asked about Tshisekedi rejecting the results, the president said they have not spoken since the vote.

"Well, I haven't talked to Mr. Tshisekedi," said Kabila. "I thought he was going to call me to really congratulate us on winning these election[s].  Unfortunately, that is not what he did.”

What Tshisekedi did is declare himself president. Kabila says that is no surprise as the opposition leader declared himself president even before the vote and declared himself prime minister in 1992 under the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko when this country was called Zaire.

"How effective was it back then in '92?  He failed in '92," he said. "He definitely is going to fail now.”

Tshisekedi's party says Congo's Supreme Court does not have the independence to rule fairly on electoral challenges and is calling on supporters to mobilize this week to protest the results. President Kabila says Tshisekedi must follow the law like everyone else.

"We will call on him to respect the laws on this land, and in case he has any queries, any contradictions arising from the results of the elections, for him to make good use of our justice system,” added Kabila.

Tshisekedi is calling on the international community to step in to avoid what he says could be another bloodbath in Congo, which endured five years of bloody civil war beginning in the late 1990s. President Kabila says the country is calm and will remain so.

"The Congo is not in turmoil. There is no crisis in the Congo," he said. "There is no civil war in the Congo. If there was a civil war, I was going to be the first person to tell you we have a dangerous situation. It's not the case.”

Asked about his reaction to opposition calls for protests, President Kabila said his government is going to stay calm and continue with the day-to-day activities of the state.  As of now, Kabila says, nothing will change.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.