USA cautions DR Congo against manipulating election results

U.S. cautions DR Congo against manipulating election results

Church urges 'truth' in DR Congo election results

Democratic Republic of Congo's government cut internet connections and SMS services across the country for a second straight day on Tuesday as the country nervously awaited results from the weekend's chaotic presidential election. No date for the announcement was given.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) opposition leaders are urging the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to ensure the decision made by Congolese voters in the December 30 poll is respected as a way of fostering democracy in the region.

"It's not possible to publish results on Sunday", said electoral commission president Corneille Nangaa, according to the AFP news agency.

The church, which deployed some 40,000 electoral observers in all polling centres, can not say publicly who the clear victor appears to be, as Congo's regulations forbid anyone but the electoral commission to announce results.

The Catholic church in Congo is warning the country's electoral commission that publishing untrue results of the presidential election could lead to a popular "uprising".

But an official in President Joseph Kabila's government, Kikaya Bin Karubi, has accused the church leaders of breaching constitutional and electoral laws. However, the government says the election was fair and went smoothly.

The presidential contest is a three-man contest between Kabila's protégé, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, and the two main opposition candidates, Mr Fayulu and Mr Tshisekedi.

For the past week, the government cut off internet access across the vast Central African country to prevent any speculation on social media about who won.

"Tensions were mounting while the CENI tabulated the results, notably in light of posturing by parties and candidates", Leila Zerrougui, head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo, told the meeting, according to the internal report.

The elections will determine who succeeds President Joseph Kabila, who has been at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country for almost 18 years. Regional observers have said the vote went relatively well given the organisational challenges.

A letter from Trump said 80 military personnel had been put in place with "appropriate combat equipment" in response to the possibility that "violent demonstrations" may occur in reaction to elections.

"Those who undermine the democratic process, threaten the peace, security or stability of the DRC, or benefit from corruption may find themselves not welcome in the United States and cut off from the US financial system".

Mr. Trump wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday that around 80 personnel had been deployed to the capital of Gabon, which borders Congo, "to be in position to support the security of United States citizens, personnel, and diplomatic facilities" in Congo's capital. By Friday evening, the commission had compiled only 44 percent of results, said Jean-Pierre Kalamba, who said the process had been slowed by the requirement that only manually counted ballots could be used.

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