Supreme Court Makes it Official
To no one's surprise, the Congolese supreme court ruled that the charges of vote fraud brought by Jean Pierre Bemba and the Union for the Nation were "without foundation." The court basically ratified the results presented to them by the Electoral Commission and declared Joseph Kabila president.
The capitol, Kinshasa was calm with most of the businesses closed. The coming days will be revealing as to how the Court's ruling will be accepted. Bemba's lawyers had walked out of the court over the weekend after the tribunal rejected their request to reopen the debate over the election result.
There is little doubt that a political crisis will ensue. In fact, this may be the best that one can hope for. A political crisis is far preferable to violent conflict. With Bemba winning almost 7 out of 10 votes in the Capitol, Kinshasa and winning six of the eleven provinces it is almost certain that Kabila will encounter difficulties governing, unless of course he makes broad ovetures to the opposition, which is very unlikely.
The fact that Kabila won the five provinces with almost 100 percent of the votes and a turnout rate 20 percentage points higher than the six provinces that Bemba won has left a sour taste in the mouths of the anti-Kabila camp. One key element to follow in the wake of the elections is the almost certain radicalization of the anti-Kabila camp. This camp often says that it fought against Mobutu and disliked his regime but they hold a personal, visceral hatred for Kabila whom they believe has been imposed on them by the International community.