Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Congo election result risks BITTER CIVIL UPRISING as Felix Tshisekedi controversially wins

Congo election result risks BITTER CIVIL UPRISING as Felix Tshisekedi controversially wins

Correspondent|A Congo opposition party is calling its candidate the "presumed winner" of the presidential election and indicates that Felix Tshisekedi has had contact with departing President Joseph Kabila "to prepare a peaceful and civilized transfer of power".

The DRC has been in the grip of a two-year-old crisis over the succession of President Joseph Kabila, who said past year he would step down after almost two decades in power.

Mr Tshisekedi, who is the son of late veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, has promised to make the fight against poverty his priority.

Fayulu, who came second in the presidential poll behind Felix Tshisekedi, called the results fraudulent.

"If we find that the results of the catholic church are not the same as those of the electoral commission we will know there was a change of plan", said Stephanie Wolters at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies.

As Congo anxiously awaits the outcome of the presidential election, many in the capital say they are convinced that the opposition won and that the delay in announcing results is allowing manipulation in favour of the ruling party.

The choice fuelled accusations that Kabila - concerned about possible retribution - would use Shadary to protect his interests after the vote.

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

He blamed the delay on opposition parties' insistence that results be counted by hand and not transmitted electronically via voting machines, which Congo used for the first time.


Fayulu and ruling party candidate Shadary can contest the results before the country's constitutional court, which has 10 days to hear and rule on any challenges.

Tshisekedi "is provisionally proclaimed elected as president", CENI President Corneille Nangaa said.

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.

Mr Nangaa, who has given no date for when provisional or final results would emerge, has said people need to be patient amid rising tensions over the delay.

"These results have nothing to do with the truth at the ballot box", Fayulu is said to have told Radio France International.

Shortly after the results were announced, Tshisekedi paid his respects to outgoing President Joseph Kabila, describing him as "an important political partner". And 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.

Congolese riot police take position around the electoral commission building at night in Kinshasa, Congo, Tuesday Jan. 8, 2019. Its statement has been condemned by officials in Mr Kabila's government.

Now Congo faces a new leader who is little known after spending many years in Belgium and living in the shadow of his outspoken father.

While Nshole acknowledged the difficulties in manually counting votes, especially in remote areas, he warned that the longer the election results are delayed, the more that suspicion will grow among the Congolese people.

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