Kabila admits mistakes but rejects DR Congo vote criticism

12th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila on Monday admitted mistakes had been made in elections which handed him a new five-year term but rejected accusations that their credibility was in doubt.

"We wanted to organise perfect elections. Did we attain that perfection? Not 100 percent, I do agree, because it is a huge challenge," Kabila told a news conference in Kinshasa with journalists including the BBC.

"But compared to the elections in 2006 these elections were better," he said.

Kabila said he rejected accusations from international monitors at the Carter Center that his victory in the November 28 vote lacked credibility.

"Probably what we have to note is that the credibility of these elections cannot be put in doubt," he said.

"Were there mistakes, errors? Definitely, like in any other election, be it on the continent or otherwise.

"But does it put in doubt the credibility of the elections? I don't think so. I believe that that particular non-government organisation has gone far beyond what was expected."

Kabila was speaking after the foundation set up by former US president Jimmy Carter had delivered a damning report on the election and France had warned of an "explosive" situation in the vast mineral-rich country.

Election officials announced Friday that Kabila, in power since 2001, had defeated veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi 49 percent to 32 percent to win a new five-year term.

But the Carter Center strongly criticised the vote, saying "multiple locations... reported impossibly high rates of 99 to 100 percent voter turnout with all, or nearly all, votes going to incumbent President Joseph Kabila".

© 2011 AFP

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