Surprise Winner Of Congolese Election Is An Opposition Leader

Surprise Winner Of Congolese Election Is An Opposition Leader

Surprise Winner Of Congolese Election Is An Opposition Leader

The outcome of DR Congo's tempestuous presidential election appeared to be headed for the courts Friday after the poll's runner-up said he would demand a recount.

"Having gained. 38.57 per cent of the vote, Felix Tshisekedi is provisionally declared the elected president of the Democratic Republic of Congo", said Corneille Nangaa, head of the Independent National Election Commission (CENI).

The Enough Project, a USA policy group that focuses on Africa, wants the global community to closely scrutinize the results, and take action if they are found to be rigged.

His main opponent Martin Fayulu has denounced the election results as an "electoral coup".

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

Congo's powerful Catholic Church has said it found a clear victor from data compiled by its 40,000 observers deployed to all polling stations.

Vote tallies by Congo's Catholic Church had Favulu as the victor, according to two diplomats briefed on the findings.

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.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders cast doubt on Thursday on the Democratic Republic of Congo's election result, saying Belgium would use its temporary seat on the UN Security Council to seek clarification about Felix Tshisekedi surprise victory. Fayulu, by contrast, is backed by ex-rebel Jean-Pierre Bemba and former governor Moise Katumbi, two of Kabila's fiercest rivals.

But pre-election studies had predicted an easy win for Martin Fayulu, another opposition candidate.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election runner-up Martin Fayulu has rejected the poll result declared on Thursday that saw his opponent Felix Tshisekedi announced as the victor of the December 30 election.

The election commission issued its result before dawn Thursday, attributing 38.57 percent to Tshisekedi (the son of Congo's late opposition leader Etienne Tschisekedi), who a year ago broke away from Fayula.

The elections were held on December 30, but CENI last weekend said provisional results, expected on Sunday, would be held up because of logistical problems.

"On the face of it, Mr Fayulu was the leader coming out of these elections", he said.

The preliminary results of the December 30 vote had been expected on Sunday, but the commission indefinitely delayed the announcement, to the growing suspicion of many Congolese. Dozens of polling centers opened hours late as materials went missing. In a last-minute decision, some 1 million of the country's 40 million voters were barred from participating, with the electoral commission blaming a deadly Ebola virus outbreak.

The vast, mineral-rich Central African country is choosing a successor to departing President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001. This means it was his experience which led to his candidature being ratified by the electoral commission. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

The last two elections in 2006 and 2011, both of which were won by incumbent Joseph Kabila, were marred by bloodshed, and many fear a repeat of the violence if there is any sense the result has been fixed.

Gleeful Tshsekedi supporters in Kinshasa, a lively opposition stronghold, said they were delighted by their candidate's win and happy to see Kabila step down.

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