Election Official: Kabila Ahead in Early, Partial Vote Tallies

Posted December 2nd, 2011 at 9:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has taken an early lead in the vote count from this week's presidential election.

Mathieu Mpita, a spokesman for Congo's Independent National Election Commission, told VOA Friday that President Kabila has 1.5 million votes so far, while veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is running second with 996,000 votes.

Mpita said that only 15.2 percent of the ballots have been counted so far.

President Kabila is running for re-election against 10 challengers, three of whom have called for the vote to be annulled because of irregularities and logistical problems.

The vast central African country was scheduled to hold a one-day vote Monday, but polling continued through Wednesday after ballots and voter lists failed to arrive at some polling stations.

The election commission has said it will publish full provisional results by December 6th, when Mr. Kabila's term expires.

Results from parliamentary elections also held this week are not expected until January.

Separately on Friday, Human Rights Watch says election-related violence killed at least 18 civilians and seriously wounded 100 others.

The US-based human rights group said Friday that most of those killed were shot dead by Republican Guard soldiers in the capital of Kinshasa.

The U.N. Security Council Friday condemned the election-related violence and expressed concern about what it called “logistical and technical difficulties” during the vote.

Congo's government has said it is bracing for possible violence following next week's announcement of results.

Security minister Adolphe Lumanu says his forces are prepared for a post-election dispute.

Adolphe Lumanu, Interior and Security Vice Prime Minister: “We have a plan to provide security during the electoral process. While we were preparing for the elections, we knew that there were those who were getting ready to contest the elections. I think that we are sufficiently prepared, we have a well trained and equipped police force, we are ready to face the situation, today, tomorrow and after the elections.”))

A preliminary European Union report says election observers saw ballot box stuffing and ballot shortages, and that some people were turned away from the polls.

African Union and other African observers have said the election was successful despite logistical problems.

U.S.-based monitors from the Carter Center reported a range of irregularities and logistical problems.