Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

DR Congo election results 'not negotiable'

DR Congo election results 'not negotiable'

Cape Town - The Congolese People's Organisation in South Africa fears that chaos could erupt in the Democratic Republic of Congo after the country's electoral commission declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the victor.

Many have seen this election as Congo's first chance at a democratic, peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960.

The SABC reports that the organisation says there are suspicions of a deal between former president Joseph Kabila and Tshisekedi, the provisional victor of the contentious December presidential election.

Felix Tshisekedi, leader of Congolese main opposition the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party, attends a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Nov. 23, 2018.

It will come as a shock to many observers who believed authorities would ensure that the government candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, would be the victor in the polls, the third since the end of a bloody civil war in 2002.

"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.

Nangaa said that, instead, the results announcement would be delayed until "next week", claiming that around half of the votes remained uncounted. Shadary received more than 4 million votes. The influential Catholic Church, which deployed 40,000 observers during the vote and has been monitoring the polls, warned that there had been irregularities.

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In order to do so they must appeal to Congo's constitutional court, which has 10 days to hear and rule on any challenges.

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. The delay in announcing results has led some Congolese to suspect possible manipulation in favor of the ruling party. Opposition and activist groups had urged people to be ready to protest on the streets if the results didn't match "the truth of the ballot boxes".

"He said he is will to be a president for all the people of Congo and thanked Fayulu and Shadary, saying he is willing to work with them to build a better Congo", Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Kinshasa, said.

The head of the electoral commission, Corneille Nangaa, earlier said that the results from a number of polling stations still needed to be counted.

Early Thursday, the electoral commission announced that Tshisekedi had won. Anti-riot police with water cannon are outside the building.

Further pressure on CENI to reveal the election outcome came on Wednesday from South Africa and Zambia, DRC's neighbour to the south.

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. He was less visible in campaigning than Fayulu and did not make himself available to reporters after the vote.

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