Congo braces for election results after commission meets overnight

Congo braces for election results after commission meets overnight

Congo braces for election results after commission meets overnight

The church, which has long pressed for a fair election in the largely Catholic nation, refused to name its "clear victor". Last week the bishops said their observations showed a clear victor - although they did not name Martin Fayulu, the other opposition frontrunner - as that candidate.

The Church has always been pressing for the departure of Kabila, who has ruled the country with an iron fist since 2001, well beyond the limit of his second and final term in December 2016.

"I am sticking to my position: This result has nothing to do with reality", Fayulu told DW.

"These results have nothing to do with the truth at the ballot box".

The African Union said it "took note" of the result and warned any dispute over the outcome should be "resolved peacefully".

Analysts are now looking to the verdict of the influential body representing Congo's Catholic bishops that said January 3 that results gathered at polling stations on election day by its 40,000-strong observation mission showed which candidate had won, without naming the person. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

The Independent National Election Commission (CENI) gave Tshisekedi 38.57 percent of the vote, ahead of Fayulu with 34.8 percent. Long in the shadow of his father, the late opposition leader Etienne, Tshisekedi startled Congo a year ago by breaking away from the opposition's unity candidate, Fayulu, to stand on his own.

Two of the diplomats said other observation missions, including one conducted by the African Union and one by the Southern African Development Community, also shows that Fayulu received the most votes, the AP reports.

"How long are we going to negotiate results?"

Mr Tshisekedi hailed his victory, vowing to be "the president of all DR Congolese".

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The candidate Kabila hand-picked to succeed him, loyalist former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, came third in the poll with 23.8 per cent of the vote.

Many Congolese had objected to Shadary, suspecting that Kabila would continue to rule from behind the scenes.

Britain's foreign secretary said he was "very concerned about discrepancies" in Congo's results, adding that the United Nations Security Council would discuss the matter on Friday.

Another opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, was declared the victor amid accusations of a power-sharing deal with the outgoing president.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church says the result given by the electoral commission does not correspond with its own tally, and the French and Belgian governments have also expressed doubts about the result.

By last night at least four people, including two police officers, had been killed in skirmishes caused by the announcement that Félix Tshisekedi, 55, the opposition leader, had won the election held on December 30.

Foreign leaders reacted cautiously to the outcome of DR Congo's presidential election Thursday, with many choosing not to congratulate the man declared victor and appealing for disputes to be settled peacefully.

Many noted that Fayulu's campaign suffered significantly more harassment than Tshisekedi's, and that the latter's rhetoric towards erstwhile enemies underwent a dramatic change in recent days. This is an ugly swindle of [DRC's Electoral Commission President] Mr. Nangaa and his political camp.

The government has cut internet service since the day after the election to prevent speculation on social media about who won, and blocked some radio stations.

"They have stolen the Congolese people's victory and the people will never accept that".

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