Kabila sworn in after disputed Congo vote
Wednesday 21 December 2011
The president of sub-Saharan Africa's largest nation was sworn in for another term, pledging to unify the country after an election that was criticised by international observers.
The country's top opposition candidate, meanwhile, planned his own inauguration in a move that could spark political chaos.
Congo's supreme court last week upheld the victory of President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power for more than a decade. However, second-place finisher Etienne Tshisekedi insisted on Sunday he was the country's democratically-elected leader and would take his own oath of office later in the week.
The army deployed tanks in the streets of the capital Kinshasa, before the ceremony amid fears of unrest if Mr Tshisekedi ordered his supporters to protest.
Mr Kabila delivered a message of national unity, describing himself as the president of all Congolese and vowing to create more jobs in his next five-year term. While Congo is mineral-rich, it has suffered through decades of dictatorship and civil war.
"I want to reassure here all those whom I did not persuade to vote for me. I invite them to believe in my determination to truly be the guarantor of the Congolese nation in all its diversity," he said.
Voting officials extended the November election by several days after voting materials arrived late in this vast nation with few paved roads. International observers also said voter turnout and Kabila's margin of victory were impossibly high in some districts.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has said that the elections were "seriously flawed, lacked transparency and did not measure up to the democratic gains" seen in recent African elections.
Organisations including the International Crisis Group, Enough and the Open Society Foundations had urged the government to delay the inauguration, citing a vote that was "marred by widespread irregularities".
Presidential election results showed Mr Kabila with 49% and Mr Tshisekedi with 32% of the nearly 19 million votes cast. Previously Mr Kabila would have needed 50% to have avoided a run-off, but he pushed electoral reforms through parliament that included only one round of voting instead of two.
The November election was only the second democratic vote in Congo's 51-year history, and the first to be organised by the Congolese government rather than by the international community. The country's east is still wracked by violence from a myriad of militias and rebel groups.
Mr Kabila became president after his father's 2001 assassination and later won a landmark 2006 vote that was largely run by the United Nations, which still has some 19,000 peacekeepers there, nearly a decade after civil war ended.
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...