UN Security Council meets on DR Congo vote

Joseph Kabila

The electoral commission is slated to release provision results on Sunday, but there may be a delay because of slow vote counting.

"The first of these personnel arrived in Gabon on January 2, 2019, with appropriate combat equipment and supported by military aircraft", Trump's letter to Congress read.

Trump's letter says more military personnel will deploy as needed to Gabon, Congo or neighboring Republic of Congo.

The elections will determine who succeeds President Joseph Kabila, who has been at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country for almost 18 years.

"The decision to cut internet and text messages hampered the transmission of data from the field", said Cyrille Ebotoko, technical supervisor of the Catholic church's observer mission.

First results are expected on Sunday.

Kabila's government has also cut off internet access and shut down Radio France Internationale and local media outlets in order to prevent the circulation of "fake" results.

It called on the election panel "to publish the election results in keeping with truth and justice", he said. The State Department noted the reported troubles on election day and said results should be compiled transparently, with observers present, so that the votes of millions of people "were not cast in vain".

Government spokesman Lambert Mende told reporters on Thursday that the election went smoothly.

Opposition fears are running high that the result will be rigged to favour Kabila's preferred successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

The United States was deeply concerned by the DRC's National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) decision to deny accreditation to several worldwide election observers and media representatives, it said. Ruling party candidate Shadary, a former interior minister, is under European Union sanctions for a crackdown on Congolese who protested the delayed election.

Ambassador Francois Delattre spoke Friday at United Nations headquarters after a closed-door council meeting that France called. The council didn't issue any joint statement, at least for now. French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said the 15-member body would continue to monitor the electoral process in Congo.

Meanwhile, vote counting continued slowly by hand at more than 175 compilation centres around the country.

"It is importance to emphasise that the irregularities that were observed were not able to significantly affect the choice which the Congolese people clearly expressed through the ballot box", he declared.

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