DRC’s electoral commission head says US is wrong on corruption claim

The US imposed new sanctions on Corneille Nangaa and two other Congolese officials
The president of DR Congo’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) Corneille Nangaa Yobeluo announces the provisional results of the presidential election in Kinshasa on January 10, 2019. – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was on January 10, 2019 named the provisional winner of a long-awaited presidential poll paving the way for the crisis-hit country’s first transfer of power in 18 years. Runner-up candidate Martin Fayulu denounced the interim results as an “electoral coup”. (Photo by Junior D. KANNAH / AFP)

The head of DR Congo’s electoral commission on Saturday denied US allegations that he was involved in the embezzlement of funds intended for the country’s presidential election.

The United States on Friday imposed new sanctions on Corneille Nangaa and two other Congolese officials who monitored last year’s polls.

The Treasury Department froze Nangaa’s US assets. Washington accuses the trio of corruption and of obstructing democracy in December’s presidential election.

“I have never been involved in any kind of corruption,” Nangaa said on Twitter on Saturday.

“We acted according to the guidelines of the (electoral commission) board and under the control of the parliament.”

The US Treasury sanctions also target commission vice president Norbert Basengezi and Marcellin Mukolo Basengezi, a son of Basengezi who is an adviser to Nangaa.

The election saw Felix Tshisekedi controversially declared the winner, with the blessing of outgoing president Joseph Kabila.

It marked the country’s first peaceful handover of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

Fellow opposition leader Martin Fayalu accused Nangaa of rigging the results.


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