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Incumbent president declared winner in Congo elections

From Kona Polycarpe and Christine Theodorou, CNN
December 9, 2011 -- Updated 1814 GMT (0214 HKT)
Celebrations from supporters in Goma as Joseph Kabila is re-elected President in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Celebrations from supporters in Goma as Joseph Kabila is re-elected President in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Joseph Kabila took over after his father's assassination in 2001
  • Some violence erupted after the vote
  • Opposition leaders have cried foul

(CNN) -- President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has won re-election, that country's communications minister said Friday.

Kabila received 48.9% of the vote in elections held November 28 and 29, according to results read on national television by Daniel Ngoy Mulunda, president of the country's election commission.

"We consider that Mr. Kabila is the president-elect while we are waiting for the final decision from the Supreme Court," said Menda Omalanga, the communications minister in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "We hope that anybody that contests these results will do so to the Supreme Court."

Etienne Tshisekedi, the main challenger, had warned that the opposition would not accept the election outcome amid claims of ballot stuffing and manipulated voter lists.

Clashes erupted after the vote, with at least 18 people killed in a week of election-related violence, Human Rights Watch has said.

A delay in announcing the election results this week heightened tensions between the government and opposition leaders.

Kabila, 40, took over after his father's assassination in 2001 and won Congo's first democratic election five years later.

Opposition leaders accused the election commission this week of conducting a botched poll after preliminary results showed Kabila in the lead.

Stability in Congo, which borders nine mostly vulnerable countries, is vital to Africa's Great Lakes region. Years of civil war and domestic political turmoil in the country, starting in the late 1990s, led to millions of casualties and affected at least six neighboring nations, some of which are still battling rebel movements spawned by the upheaval.

Despite Congo's vast resources, including cobalt, gold, copper and tantalum, the fledgling democracy is mired in poverty and conflict, especially in its eastern region, a hot spot for the "conflict minerals" that activists say are used to fund rebel movements in the area.

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