Ka­bila is de­clared win­ner in DRC poll

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

KIN­SHASA: Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila has won re-elec­tion, said the head of the elec­toral com­mis­sion yes­ter­day, urg­ing calm af­ter a pro­vi­sional re­sult that the op­po­si­tion called “to­tally un­ac­cept­able”.

Streets had emp­tied be­fore the re­sult in parts of the cap­i­tal Kin­shasa and riot po­lice were de­ployed in case of clashes.

“The elec­toral com­mis­sion notes that the can­di­date Joseph Ka­bila has achieved a ma­jor­ity with 48.97 per­cent of votes cast,” Daniel Ngoy Mu­lunda told re­porters, of­fi­cials and diplo­mats gath­ered to hear the poll’s out­come.

“(The re­sults) are no rea­son to whip up the pop­u­la­tion against the es­tab­lished or­der to con­test the re­sults or to set­tle scores,” said Mu­lunda.

He said chal­lenger Eti­enne Tshisekedi was run­ner-up with just over 32 per­cent.

Tshisekedi’s cam­paign pres­i­dent Alexis Mu­tanda said: “It is a to­tally un­ac­cept­able re­sult. You can just look around Kin­shasa or the rest of the coun­try to see how many peo­ple are against these re­sults. The pop­u­la­tion is to­tally dis­ori­ented.”

He said Tshisekedi’s UDPS party had not de­cided on its next move, but had “no faith” in the cred­i­bil­ity of the Supreme Court, charged with rat­i­fy­ing the re­sults.

At least 18 peo­ple have been killed in elec­tion-re­lated vi­o­lence so far, ac­cord­ing to USbased Hu­man Rights Watch.

The op­po­si­tion has ac­cused Ka­bila’s govern­ment of vo­terig­ging and his camp has warned that the govern­ment would call in the army if protests be­came “too chaotic”.

The Novem­ber 28 poll was Congo’s first lo­cally or­gan­ised pres­i­den­tial vote since a war that killed more than 5 mil­lion, and is meant to move the coun­try to­wards sta­bil­ity and en­cour­age for­eign in­vest­ment af­ter years of con­flict.

The an­nounce­ment of the re­sult was de­layed twice ear­lier in the week due to lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems and as donor na­tions urged more trans­parency, stretch­ing the nerves of res­i­dents ea­ger for an out­come.

In­ter­na­tional ob­servers have said the elec­tion process has been marred by ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and dis­or­gan­i­sa­tion but have stopped short of call­ing for it to be an­nulled.

Be­fore the re­sults were an­nounced, con­voys of po­lice trucks pa­trolled the city, se­cu­rity forces car­ry­ing tear gas launch­ers were de­ployed on streets and shops closed early.

The govern­ment of neigh­bour­ing Congo Repub­lic said this week it is pre­par­ing a refugee camp north of Braz­zav­ille in case vi­o­lence forces peo­ple to flee. – Reuters

VIC­TOR: Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila has been re-elected.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.