Vienna , 21 December 2011 Press release

Spindelegger calls for reserve and dialogue after Congo elections

Election process lacking in transparency and credibility

Vienna, 21 December 2011 – “Compliance with democratic principles of rule of law is an indispensable prerequisite for ensuring the credibility of the election process in the Democratic Republic of Congo and for protecting political peace“, Vice Chancellor Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said after the High Court of Kinshasa announced the final outcome of the presidential elections. Spindelegger regrets that the Congolese electoral council and the High Court had clearly failed to research the complaints filed by the opposition parties before announcing the final election result. Several delegations observing the elections, among them election observers from the European Union including some representatives from Austria, had found severe shortcomings and irregularities in the election process.

The Foreign Minister expressed his hope that the Congolese authorities would decide to cooperate with the opposition in the counting of the votes cast in the parliamentary elections to ensure a maximum of transparency and improve the credibility of the results. “The democratic progress made in the past few years after the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo must not be put at stake”, Spindelegger said. He urged all political decision-makers to act with the utmost reserve in this tense situation, to prevent violence and to pro-actively search for dialogue across all political borders.

Spindelegger also referred to the responsibility to be assumed by the political leaders in Kinshasa to ensure the security of the citizens and observe human rights. After the end of the bloody civil war in the Central African country there have been repeated conflicts between government forces and rebels, entailing massive violations of the human rights of the civilian population, particularly sexual abuse of women.

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