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Congo News: Catholic church rejects Congo election results

Catholic bishops call for "peaceful protests" against Congo poll win of Joseph Kabila.
Congo catholic church rejects poll 2012 1 13Enlarge
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila (L) shakes hands with Catholic Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo (R) at the end of an ecumenical ceremony, 17 October 2004 in KIsangani during his landmark visit to the troubled east of the vast central African country. The two-hour service was held at Saint Joseph's Church in Kisangani's Tchopo district, which was especially hard hit during the DRC's 1998-2003 war. (Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images)

NAIROBI, Kenya — Catholic bishops in the Democratic Republic of Congo have slammed "serious errors" in recent presidential elections and called on the electoral commission responsible for the shambolic polls to make amends or resign.

The church is influential in Congo, and its opinion carries particular weight when it comes to the elections because it deployed the largest independent monitoring team.

A statement signed by 35 bishops denounced the election saying it took place amid a "climate of fear" and widespread fraud.

International election observers refused to sign off on the vote calling into question the legitimacy of Joseph Kabila's re-election.

His main opponent, Etienne Tshisikedi, has also claimed victory.

Read more on GlobalPost: 24 Congolese killed since Kabila's re-election

The call by the bishops follows comments from the Archbishop of Kinshasa Laurent Monsengwo who described the results as illegitimate and has called for peaceful protests to be held next week.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/africa-emerges/congo-election-catholic-church-reject-poll-results