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Coons, Isakson Express Disappointment with Inauguration of DRC President Kabila Before Election Review


Location: Washington, DC

After twice calling for a thorough and transparent review of election results in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the last week, the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations African Affairs Subcommittee, Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), expressed disappointment in President Kabila's decision to proceed with his inauguration without performing a comprehensive review.

"We are disappointed that President Kabila went forward with his inauguration without first addressing the widely reported irregularities in the election. It is critical that President Kabila takes meaningful steps to improve the credibility of the electoral process, especially given the ongoing tally of parliamentary election results. President Kabila can demonstrate his commitment to credible election processes by accepting international technical assistance to ensure that the problems that plagued the presidential election and vote tabulation will not be repeated in future elections.

"A team of Congolese and international experts should be established immediately to review the litany of problems associated with the elections, and develop a way forward acceptable to the Congolese people. The team of experts will shed light on the cause of irregularities, and the United States has offered technical assistance for a review of election results. President Kabila, Mr. Tshisekedi, and other opposition leaders should support such a review and resolve any disagreements through peaceful constructive dialogue.

"As Secretary Clinton said yesterday, we strongly urge all Congolese political leaders and their supporters to act responsibly and renounce violence. The United States and international community expect accountability for perpetrators of violence in the appropriate international or national forums, and we reiterate our previous call for President Kabila to direct Congolese security forces to refrain from violence and take appropriate measures to protect the Congolese people."

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