Kabila declared DRC election victor, Tshisekedi says he won
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission has declared incumbent president Joseph Kabila reelected after securing 49 per cent of the vote in the presidential election. But Kabila’s closest rival, Etienne Tshisekedi, says he won and says the announcement is a "provocation".
UDPS party leader Tshisekedi took 32 per cent with a turnout of 58 per cent, according to preliminary results.
“The national electoral commission finds that the candidate Joseph Kabila Kabange has obtained the majority,” said the electoral commission’s chief Daniel Ngoy Mulunda.
Kabila secured a majority with 8,830,994 votes against Tshisekedi’s 5,864,775, according to the commission. UNC party leader and former president of the national assembly, Vital Kamerhe, placed third with 7.74 per cent of the vote. President of the Senate Leon Kengo came in fourth with 4.45 per cent.
Tshisekedi was quick to denounce the results. He told RFI that the electoral commission’s declaration was a “provocation”.
“I consider myself today the elected president of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said. “I ask you to remain calm, to face the events that follow, until I give you the go-ahead."
“I ask the international community to take the necessary measures, not only to find a solution to this problem, but also to avoid the blood of the Congolese people, which could once again flow,” said Tshisekedi, during a telephone interview shortly after Mulunda’s announcement.
In a press conference at his residence Kamerhe said it had been “clearly established” that Tshisekedi was the winner.
Shortly after the results announcement, several plumes of smoke could be seen over the Tshisekedi stronghold of Limete in Kinshasa.
On the capital’s main highway, Boulevard du 30 Juin, small groups of Kabila supporters waved flags, sang and drove up and down the road sounding the horns on their cars.
Kabila’s PPRD party held a celebration event at the Grand Hotel in the Gombe area of Kinshasa on Friday night. The governor of Kinshasa, Andre Kimbuta, came to the party, Kabila supporters told RFI.
British Minister for Africa, Henry Bellingham, said he was concerned about “irregularities both in the run-up to [the election] and throughout the process”.
“It is vital that the relevant DRC authorities investigate and resolve all reported irregularities promptly and fairly,” said Bellingham. “It is also important that any challenges to the results should be conducted through the proper channels, not through violence.”
One international election observation was critical of the results and the data from all the polling stations which the electoral commission released.
“It’s evident in those results that they have been some pretty significant and serious irregularities of various kinds,” said David Pottie, from the US-based Carter Center.
Pottie highlighted 2,000 polling station results that went missing in Kinshasa and “several” constituencies in Katanga province where there were “unbelievably improbable” results.
The DRC’s supreme court will officially proclaim the winner of the election on 17 December.