Congo's Kabila re-elected, opposition cries foul

Fri Dec 9, 2011 4:56pm GMT

By Jonny Hogg

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila won re-election, the head of the electoral commission said on Friday, urging calm after a provisional result that the opposition called "totally unacceptable".

Columns of black smoke rose over parts of the mostly pro-opposition capital Kinshasa, where riot police had been deployed in advance, while celebrations broke out in other regions of the vast minerals-rich central African state, witnesses said.

"The electoral commission notes that the candidate Joseph Kabila has achieved a majority with, 8,880,944 votes, or 48.97 percent of votes cast," Daniel Ngoy Mulunda told reporters and diplomats gathered to hear the outcome of the November 28 poll.

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

Kabila's main challenger, opposition veteran Etienne Tshisekedi, was runner-up with just over 32 percent.

"It is a totally unacceptable result," Tshisekedi's campaign president Alexis Mutanda told Reuters. "You can just look around Kinshasa or the rest of the country to see how many people are against these results."

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.

A senior member of Kabila's camp said he was "overjoyed" by Kabila's win, and proud of the election process.   Continued...

Incumbent Congolese President Joseph Kabila receives his ballot at a polling station in Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, November 28, 2011. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
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