Opposition Candidate Felix Tshisekedi Clinches Election Victory In DRC - African News

The Latest: US to citizens in Congo: 'Depart the country'

The Latest: US to citizens in Congo: 'Depart the country'

Their meeting came amid growing concern that unrest could erupt in DR Congo, following tightly contested presidential elections on 30 December.

Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was on Thursday declared victor of DR Congo's presidential election, but his victory was dismissed by the runner-up and questioned by the Catholic church, clouding the vote's legitimacy and hopes of peace.

The country is in flux over a thrice-delayed presidential vote, with the announcement of official results now postponed, stoking suspicions of rigging.

A statement by more than 300 organizations also alleges that electoral commission president Corneille Nangaa has been instructed by President Joseph Kabila's government to publish results from electronic transmission instead of from manual counting. He called the official result a "robbery" and asked supporters to "rise as one man to protect victory".

Democratic Republic of Congo's Catholic Church has said that election results tallied by its observers do not match official results announced by the election commission (CENI) on Thursday.

The church did not name a victor, but reports say it's count finds opposition candidate and businessman Martin Fayulu coming out on top.

These showed Fayulu winning, according to three diplomats briefed on the findings.

Earlier Thursday Fayulu also expressed alarm at the results when he said an "electoral coup" had taken place.

Fayulu, who once tweeted that "When the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn", was backed by two popular opposition figures barred from running, former Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba and former governor Moise Katumbi.

Tshisekedi ran ahead of Martin Fayulu of the "Lamuka" coalition, and far ahead of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, candidate for the ruling coalition.




The commission declared opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, the official victor early on Thursday in what could lead to Congo's first democratic transfer of power.

The news of Felix Tshisekedi's victory, who is the leader of the main opposition party, came to many as a surprise.

While backers of Mr Tshisekedi took to the streets of the capital Kinshasa in celebration (pictured below), supporters of Mr Fayulu denounced the result as fraudulent.

The pair had previously agreed that if they won, Kamerhe would become Tshisekedi's prime minister.

The election's supervisors had faced mounting pressure at home and overseas to publish the results of the December 30 poll after repeated delays stoked fears for the giant country's stability.

And as the country prepares to enter a new era without President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since the previous incumbent, his father, was assassinated in 2001, the Secretary-General reiterated "the continued support and commitment" of the United Nations.

If confirmed, Mr Tshisekedi will be the first opposition challenger to win since the DR Congo gained independence in 1960. Dozens of polling centers opened hours late as materials went missing. He is barred from serving three consecutive terms, but until he announced a year ago that he would step aside many Congolese feared he'd find a way to stay in office.

Some Congolese tired of Kabila's long rule, two turbulent years of election delays and years of conflict that killed millions of people said they simply wanted peace. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation". This means it was his experience which led to his candidature being ratified by the electoral commission.

Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu wipes his face before speaking to the press at his headquarters in Kinshasa, DRC, Jan. 10, 2019.

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