US demands DRC release 'accurate' election results

accreditation
Picture: AFP
Picture: AFP

The United States on Thursday demanded that the Democratic Republic of Congo release "accurate" election results, warning of sanctions on anyone who undermines the fledgling democracy.

The United States said that DRC authorities should remove restrictions on internet access and media and urged the Independent National Election Commission (CENI) to count votes transparently.

"On December 30, millions of Congolese went peacefully to the polls. Now is the time for CENI to affirm that these votes were not cast in vain by ensuring the accurate reporting of election results," State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a statement.

The election could mark the first peaceful transition of power in the war-torn DRC, sub-Saharan Africa's largest country geographically, since independence in 1960.

But the election was delayed several times as President Joseph Kabila held on to power rather than stepping down at the end of 2016.

Authorities crushed protests and voting was further postponed in areas hit by violence.

"There are moments in every nation's history when individuals and political leaders step forward and do the right thing. This is one of those moments for the DRC," Palladino said.

"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," he said.

The election commission is set to unveil provisional results on Sunday, followed by definitive results on January 15.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When and why would you have your or your partner's sperm count checked?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
That's an unnecessary procedure
17% - 999 votes
As soon as we decide to start a family
7% - 444 votes
Only if we're struggling to conceive
76% - 4583 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.40
-0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.87
-0.6%
Rand - Euro
17.07
-0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.79
-0.9%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.1%
Gold
1,774.33
+0.6%
Silver
25.86
+0.2%
Palladium
2,490.00
+0.9%
Platinum
1,031.50
-0.7%
Brent Crude
73.51
+0.6%
Top 40
59,504
0.0%
All Share
65,635
0.0%
Resource 10
60,958
0.0%
Industrial 25
87,956
0.0%
Financial 15
12,995
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo