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DRC Presidential Runner-Up Challenges Election Results

The loser in Congo's presidential elections, Jean-Pierre Bemba, has officially contested the results.

About 200 Bemba supporters crowded around Democratic Republic of Congo's Supreme Court Saturday when his team submitted an official objection to Wednesday's provisional results, which declared incumbent President Joseph Kabila the winner.

Former rebel leader and then vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba says he submitted six objections about voting irregularities to the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI). His main claim is that about 1.4 million voted outside their home constituencies and this changed the outcome decisively.

His representative Delly Sesanga, who brought in the complaint, told reporters that many of those who voted, did so illegally.

The CEI says it can account for these votes, most of which were cast by officials who had to travel in order to help coordinate the elections.

Mr. Kabila won 58 percent of the second round run-off in Congo's first free and fair elections in forty years, compared with Bemba's forty-two percent.

About 19,000 United Nations and European Union peacekeepers helped ensure security during the voting process.

Many had expected violence to break out after the results were announced. After Mr. Kabila won the first round in August, gun battles killed at least twenty. Militia supporting Mr. Kabila were fighting with those supporting Bemba.

This time round there was no violence. Many Kinshasa residents are saying they have to accept the result, even if they did not vote for Mr. Kabila.