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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid