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U.S. says DR Congo elections "seriously flawed"


09:30, December 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday that the recent presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) were "seriously flawed" and "lacked transparency."

Based on the observations by the U.S. embassy and other organizations, "we believe that the management and technical execution of these elections were seriously flawed, lacked transparency and did not measure up to the democratic gains we have seen in recent African elections," said department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland at a briefing.

"It is not clear, however, whether the irregularities were sufficient to change the outcome of the election," she added.

The DR Congo's Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) released provisional results of the elections on Friday indicating that incumbent Joseph Kabila has won the country's presidency.

But the political opposition in the country on Monday filed a case at the Supreme Court requesting for the cancellation of election results published by the CENI.

Nuland said the U.S. encouraged the relevant Congolese authorities to "closely review these cited irregularities and proceed with maximum openness and transparency."

"We believe that a rapid technical review of the electoral process by the Congolese authorities may determine ways to provide more credible results, shed light on whether irregularities were caused by lack of organization or fraud, and provide guidance for future elections," she said, adding that the U.S. stands ready to provide technical assistance.

The election results of DR Congo must next be approved by its Supreme Court, which is scheduled to officially name a winner by Dec. 17, with inauguration scheduled for Dec. 20.

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