Published: Sun, January 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

DR Congo top court decides winner of election

DR Congo top court decides winner of election

Neither party has acknowledged the accusations.

Fayulu's camp had hailed the AU appeal for the final result to be put on hold, but Tshisekedi's entourage branded it "scandalous". "It's no secret. that you have elected me president", he said.

Fayulu's claims that official results were inaccurate are supported by Congo's Catholic bishops, who've said the electoral commission's tally didn't reflect the findings of its nationwide observer mission.

Fayulu asked the court to declare that the commission violated the constitution by not organizing elections in certain constituencies.

"It is Congo that won", said Tshisekedi, speaking to his supporters after the court decision.

But for some Congolese who campaigned hard for Kabila to step aside, having an opposition figure take power is enough, despite questions about the vote. The Congo that we are going to form will not be a Congo of division, hatred or tribalism.

Congo's inauguration is set for Tuesday.

A Twitter handle associated with Mr Fayulu tweeted that the peace and stability of the DRC and the region depended on the truth being revealed through a recount.

Reflecting the yearning for stability after years of electoral unrest, 33 Congolese non-governmental groups and civil society movements on Thursday called on people to comply with whatever the court rules to "preserve the peace" in the interest of "national unity".

Tshisekedi's victory was provisionally announced earlier this month by the Independent National Election Commission (CENI) but it was challenged both at home and overseas, with the African Union appealing for the final results to be delayed.

Government spokesperson Lambert Mende has accused the worldwide media of leaking information to influence the courts.

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The court turned away Fayulu's request for a recount in the December 30 vote.

"The court is independent, both of us and the African Union", government spokesman Lambert Mende said, the AFP news agency reports.

The poll was meant to enable DRC's first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence from Belgium.

Many in the opposition have accused the government of maintaining the shutdown for the opposite objective - to suppress a reaction to its own manipulation of the election in favor of Tshisekedi after it became clear its candidate Shadary lacked support.

The U.N. human rights office said on Friday it had documented 34 people killed, 59 wounded and 241 arbitrary arrests since the provisional results were announced on January 10.

Further problems with the vote included the barring of some 1 million voters in the east of the country, due to what the election commission said was a deadly Ebola outbreak. Ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Shadary took 23.8%.

The election came after more than two turbulent years of delays as many Congolese anxious that Kabila, in power since 2001, was seeking a way to stay in office.

Kabila, who was constitutionally barred from seeking a fourth term, has already suggested that he will run again in 2023.

Fayulu had denounced the figures and called the results as an "electoral coup", which he said was forged by Tshisekedi and President Joseph Kabila.

With that perhaps in mind, Tshisekedi's party sharply rejected the AU's attempted intervention.

Martin Fayulu, the joint opposition presidential candidate in Democratic Republic of Congo, speaks during an interview with Reuters in the capital Kinshasa, December 20, 2018.

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