|The Supreme Court rejected calls for the results of the presidential polls to be cancelled [EPA]|
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Supreme Court has declared Joseph Kabila winner of the country’s presidential polls, rejecting opposition calls for results to be annulled.
Jerome Kitoko, the court’s president, said on Friday that Kabila, who has ruled DR Congo since 2001, had won 48.95 per cent of the vote.
“In consequence, Joseph Kabila is proclaimed president-elect of the republic with a simple majority,” he said at the justice ministry.
Kabila, Congo’s incumbent president, had faced 10 candidates, including Etienne Tshisekedi, who won 32.33 per cent of the vote.
Another opposition candidate, Vital Kamerhe, had appealed to the Supreme Court to annul the presidential vote over fraud allegations, but the court said late on Friday that his complaint was groundless and lacked sufficient evidence.
Kabila was declared the provisional winner of the November 28 vote last Friday, sparking violent protests and looting in the capital and calls from opposition leaders for the international community to intervene.
Tshisekedi immediately rejected the result and declared himself president, sparking fears of unrest. So far, he has called for calm, telling his supporters to await his instructions.
The European Union, the non-profit Carter Center and other election monitors have voiced serious concern about the credibility of the poll, citing problems in the vote count and the loss of huge numbers of ballots.
On Friday, leaders from Africa’s Great Lakes region welcomed the re-election of Kabila and urged opponents to accept the result.
“The summit… congratulated the president of DRC on his re-election and urged those not satisfied with the election results to accept them and work towards building the country,” the International Conference on the Great Lakes
Region said in a statement at the end of a two-day summit in Kampala.
Leaders from Burundi, Central African Republic, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia attended the meeting.