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Congo President Joseph Kabila declared election winner

December 9, 2011 |  8:44 am

REPORTING FROM JOHANNESBURG -- After a lengthy delay, the Democratic Republic of Congo election commission Friday announced that President Joseph Kabila has won another five-year term, a result many fear will trigger violent opposition protests.

According to the election commission, Kabila won 49% to  rival Etienne Tshisekedi’s 32%.

The controversial Nov. 28 election was flawed by chaos and cases of ballot-rigging, analysts charged.  Despite the problems in the vote and counting process, international observers and diplomats have taken a low-key approach for fear of triggering serious violence or conflict.

Voting was extended to three days in some areas, and the announcement of the results was twice delayed.

Kabila has lost popularity in recent years, particularly in the capital, Kinshasa, because of his failure to improve the lives of Congo's population, nearly two-thirds of whom live in dire poverty despite the nation having some of the richest mineral resources on Earth.

After 10 years of Kabila's rule, Congo ranked last of 187 countries in the U.N. development index ranking of countries according to development, health, education, life expectancy and other factors.


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-- Robyn Dixon  

Photo: Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila.  Credit: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images