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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

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