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US 'disappointed' after DRC vote upheld

21 December 2011, 11:05

Washington - The US said on Tuesday it is "deeply disappointed" by the Democratic Republic of the Congo Supreme Court's decision to uphold provisional election results without "fully evaluating widespread reports of irregularities".

"We believe that the management and technical execution of these elections were seriously flawed, lacked transparency and did not measure up to the democratic gains we have seen in recent African elections," a State Department statement said.

The statement however noted that "it is still not clear whether the irregularities were sufficient to change the outcome of the election".

Joseph Kabila was sworn in Tuesday for another term as president of the DRC, a job also claimed by his main rival following disputed polls that have plunged the country into deep crisis.

The 40-year-old incumbent was last week confirmed the winner by the Supreme Court, which the opposition says he packed with loyalists just before the country's elections on November 28.

The results of the chaotic vote were criticised by observers and rejected by opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who has proclaimed himself the people's president and is planning his own inauguration on Friday.

The State Department urged a probe into the electoral debacle.

"A review of the electoral process by the Congolese authorities and outside experts may shed additional light on the cause of the irregularities, identify ways to provide more credible results, and offer guidance for the ongoing election results and for future elections," the statement said.

"We strongly urge all Congolese political leaders and their supporters to act responsibly, renounce violence, and resolve any disagreements through peaceful, constructive dialogue."



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