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Cablegate: Kabila Declared President; Supreme Court Throws

VZCZCXRO0117
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1791 3321220
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 281220Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5219
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK PRIORITY

UNCLAS KINSHASA 001791

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM KPKO CG ELECTIONS
SUBJECT: KABILA DECLARED PRESIDENT; SUPREME COURT THROWS
OUT BEMBA'S CHALLENGES

REF: A. A. KINSHASA 1789
B. B. KINSHASA 1788

1. (U) Summary: The Supreme Court on November 27 certified
the provisional results of the October 29 presidential runoff
by declaring Joseph Kabila the victor of the DRC's first
democratic presidential election in over 40 years. The Court
also dismissed each of Jean-Pierre Bemba's eight electoral
challenges. The Carter Center released its own analysis of
on November 27, finding that the outcome of the presidential
election was not affected despite some significant abuses.
End summary.

2. (U) The President of the Supreme Court declared Joseph
Kabila the winner of the DRC's presidential election on
November 27 at approximately 19:00 local time. The
announcement followed the Court's hour-long announcement of
its dismissal of all Jean-Pierre Bemba's electoral
challenges. There were celebrations by Kabila supporters in
Kinshasa following the announcement, with no violent
gatherings or security incidents reported. Kabila's
presidential inauguration is scheduled for December 6.

3. (U) The Supreme Court preceded the announcement
certifying Kabila's provisional victory by detailing its
response to each of Bemba's eight electoral challenges. The
Court reviewed the complaints and the arguments before
declaring that all of the legal challenges were "unfounded."

4. (U) The Carter Center had earlier released an analysis of
irregularities in the voting process, which addressed many of
the same concerns as raised by Bemba's challenge. (Note:
The Carter Center's statement was forwarded to AF/C. This
was the third statement by The Carter Center since the
October 29 second-round presidential election. End note.)
The Carter Center held that while abuses were observed,
particularly in relation to voting by special dispensation
("derogation"), the use of special lists, and unusually high
voter turnout in several specific regions, these factors did
not materially affect the results of the presidential runoff.
Regarding the votes by "derogation," one of Bemba's central
complaints, the Center stated: "At most, 400,000 votes by
exemption are in question across the country. The Center's
analysis also shows that these questionable votes are evenly
split between the two presidential candidates, indicating
that the supporters of both candidates participated actively
in perpetrating such fraudulent activities, and that both
candidates benefited equally."

5. (U) CIAT issued a declaration congratulating the
Congolese people on November 28 after the Supreme Court's
decision. CIAT further congratulated both President Kabila
on his victory and Bemba for his significant and respectable
showing in the election, and called on all political actors
to work together in the interests of the country. CIAT
reiterated its call for all to respect the law and urged
political leaders to appeal for calm among their followers
and renounce violence.

6. (SBU) Comment. Bemba's attorneys, seemingly more
interested in show than in substance, did not present or
defend a strong case. The Carter Center, on the other hand,
provided a good analysis of the relevant arguments and
convincingly detailed how the irregularities failed to affect
the outcome of the presidential race. The Carter Center did
caution, however, that while irregularities did not affect
the outcome in the presidential runoff, they may have had a
negative impact on the Provincial Assembly elections (ref B),
where a difference of even several hundred votes could
potentially change an outcome. The Carter Center has urged
the CEI to publish provincial assembly results by polling
station so that the candidates and their supporters can
determine whether or not to challenge results on the basis of
already identified irregularities. End comment.
MEECE

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