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Congo’s Supreme Court Declares Kabila Victor of Nov. 28 Vote

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Incumbent Joseph Kabila won the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Nov. 28 presidential election, Jerome Kintolo Kimpele, first president of the country’s Supreme Court, told reporters in the capital Kinshasa.

The court rejected a challenge by the opposition to annul the provisional results announced by the electoral commission Dec. 9, which gave Kabila 49 percent of the votes to 32 percent for runner-up Etienne Tshisekedi. Tshisekedi has rejected the outcome, saying he is the country’s true president.

“We’re not surprised,” Albert Moleka, Tshisekedi’s chief of staff, said by telephone after the announcement. “As Mr. Tshisekedi has said, the Supreme Court is a private institution of Mr. Kabila. In Congo the people vote, but they don’t elect.”

The election, Congo’s second after 40 years of dictatorship and war, was marred by irregularities including lost ballots and violence, according to electoral observation missions from the Atlanta-based Carter Center, the European Union and Congo’s Catholic Church.

The U.S. Department of State said Dec. 14 that while the elections “were seriously flawed, lacked transparency and did not measure up to the democratic gains we have seen in recent African elections,” it wasn’t clear if the irregularities changed the outcome.

Six African countries called on Congo’s opposition parties to concede to Kabila at a conference of heads of state from Africa’s Great Lakes region today in Kampala, Uganda, according to Agence France-Presse.

Tshisekedi’s party called for demonstrations against the result this week, without specifying when or where.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Kavanagh in Kinshasa at mkavanagh9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net

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