A day after election authorities named incumbent president, Joseph Kabila winner of a disputed poll in the Democratic Republic of Congo, opposition protesters clashed violently with security forces.
Kabila’s supporters rejoiced in the street when they heard the news of his victory, but there were clearly some discrepancies. An official at the U.S. based, Carter Center Election Observer Mission, said some results on the election commission web site were suspicious.
For example in the Manono district of Katanga – where Kabila has strong support – voter turnout was at over 100 per cent with Kabila getting 99.98 per cent of the vote. Also the results from nearly 2,000 polling stations in opposition stronghold areas went uncounted.
It was hoped the first locally organised presidential contest in the vast Central-African state, since the end of a 1998- 2003 war, would lead to greater stability.
However main opposition challenger Etienne Tshisekedi rejected the official results, and declared himself the new leader of the country. The UN and US have urged against post election violence, saying disputes should go through the proper legal channels.