The United States has warned Democratic Republic of Congo leaders it will hold those undermining the democratic processes after a disputed election held on December 30, 2018 accountable if the peace of that country is compromised.
CENI, Congo’s electoral body announced opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi as provisional winner of the poll, but preliminary results obtained from observers and the voting machines show another opposition leader Martin Fayulu with a wide lead.
Fayulu has since contested the provisional results in the Constitutional Court with Tshisekedi also challenging the legislative results that has given President Joseph Kabila’s ruling coalition, the FCC, a clear majority.
In a statement issued Wednesday, January 16, 2019, the US State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino announced that his government supports the lawful right of candidates to file a legal challenge to the election results as Fayulu has done.
Palladino urged the Constitutional Court to execute a lawful, fair, and transparent process for resolving the electoral disputes.
“The United States will hold accountable those who perpetrate election violence or undermine democratic processes. Maintaining peace in the DRC depends on a fully transparent and legal process to resolve any concerns regarding election results,” he states.
Palladino stresses that the United States will stand with the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at this historic moment.
“It is the people who should determine their country’s future through a fully transparent and constitutional process.
“The United States recognizes the legitimate concerns over the transparency of the electoral process.
“As the tabulation process continues, we urge the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) to ensure that the final declared results reflect the will of the Congolese people, as expressed through the ballot box on December 30, 2018,” he adds.
Meanwhile, 16 African leaders are meeting in Ethiopia to discuss the situation in the Congo.
President Edgar Lungu, who is chairperson for the SADC Troika heading the peace and politics committee, is among the heads of State attending the meeting.
“I am hopeful that an amicable and acceptable resolution will soon be reached in the #DRC. This meeting has been called over the recently held DRC elections and the announced provisional results,” he said.
The emergency SADC Double Troika Summit on the Democratic Republic of Congo will have representation from SADC, AU, IGAD to help address the issue in the DRC.