Kabila wins DRC polls amid threats of violence

Incumbent Joseph Kabila has won a new five-year term as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the election commission said on Friday while announcing the much-delayed full poll results.

Election commission chief Daniel Ngoy Mulunda said Kabila had obtained 49% of the vote to 32.3% for his nearest rival, veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission certifies that candidate Kabila Kabange Joseph has obtained the simple majority of votes,” Mulunda announced.

Kabila got 8.9-million votes, Mulunda said, about three million more than Tshisekedi. The voter turnout rate was 58.8%.

Kabila, in power since 2001, ran against a divided opposition field of 10 candidates in the November 28 polls.

The supreme court, which is seen as close to Kabila after he expanded it from seven to 27 judges at the start of the campaign, has until December 17 to hear election disputes on the provisional result and declare the definitive winner.

Inauguration day is set for December 20.

‘Opaque and biased’
Tshisekedi’s party had condemned early results showing Kabila in the lead as “illegal, opaque and biased”, and fears of post-poll unrest are running high.

Tshisekedi has made veiled threats of violence, warning Kabila and Mulunda to “respect the will of the Congolese people”.

“If they don’t, they risk committing suicidal acts. I call all our people to stay vigilant so that if needed they can execute the orders I will give them,” he said on Saturday.

The tumultuous November 28 vote was rocked by chaos and rioting at polling stations, reports of millions of voters being turned away and a pair of deadly rebel attacks in the restive city of Lubumbashi.

The campaign was also marred by clashes between rival partisans and deadly police crackdowns on opposition rallies.

Human Rights Watch said at least 18 civilians died from November 26 to 28, most of them shot dead by Kabila’s presidential guard as they put down a Tshisekedi rally in Kinshasa.

Provisional parliamentary results are expected mid-January.—AFP



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