Kabila to be sworn in for new term as DR Congo president

2011-12-20 09:12

Kinshasa – President Joseph Kabila is expected to be sworn in for another term in the highest office of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, despite international concern over voter fraud and a counterclaim from a key rival.

Last week, the Supreme Court confirmed the results of the national election commission, which said Kabila, aged 40, won 48.95% of the vote, while the main opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, received 32.33%.

Tshisekedi, aged 79, has declared himself president and called on the army to obey his orders. But, so far, his words have not resonated with the military or other African countries.

South Africa and some other governments on the continent are expected to send high-level officials and ministers to Kabila’s swearing-in ceremony.

However, former colonial power Belgium has declined its invitation.

Also, France and the United States have expressed concern over the vote, after observers noted incidents of fraud during the November 28 election in the central African nation of 71 million.

Kabila, who has led the country since 2001, and was first elected president in 2006, has admitted there were flaws with the vote, but says the results are still credible.

The opposition and some international observers have said the election commission and Supreme Court are packed with Kabila loyalists.

Since the elections, Amnesty International says there has been a crackdown on the opposition, including arbitrary arrests.

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