DRC awaits opposition protests

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Opposition leaders in the Democratic Republic called for demonstrations to protest a presidential election questioned by international observers.

Jacquemin Shabani, secretary-general for the opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress, called for "peaceful and democratic demonstrations," without offering specifics, al-Jazeera reports.


USDP candidate Etienne Tshisekedi finished second to President Joseph Kabila in November presidential elections, the second democratic vote for the country since independence in 1960. The country also voted on legislative posts.

Kabila and members of the African Union said the election was largely fair. Observers with the Carter Center, which has headquarters in Atlanta, said the vote didn't accurately "reflect the will of the Congolese people."

The U.N. mission in DRC called on the DRC Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct "a timely and rigorous review" of the Nov. 28 elections.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington believed a thorough review of the November contest would "shed light" on claims of irregularities during the election.

"The government of the DRC remains responsible for providing security for the people of the Congo," she added. "Any persons who use violence or incite imminent violence to derail the democratic process must be held accountable."


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