DR Congo Opposition Candidate Fayulu Challenges Election Results in Court

Evarado Alatorre
Enero 13, 2019

Parties supporting outgoing Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila won a majority in long-delayed legislative elections, according to an AFP tally of results released Saturday, as the opposition sought a recount of the disputed presidential poll.

Democratic Republic of Congo presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu has challenged the outcome of the country's election in court, claiming he defeated opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi by a wide margin.

Provisional results indicated candidates from the pro-Kabila FCC coalition secured up to 288 of the 485 seats so far declared, putting them in control of parliament for the next five years.

Congolese police officers hold back members of the media as Congo opposition candidate Martin Fayulu leaves the constitution court in Kinshasa, Congo, Saturday Jan. 12, 2019.

He said he would challenge Corneille Nangaa, head of the Independent National Election Commission (CENI), "to produce the tally reports from polling stations in front of witnesses" and Congolese and worldwide observers.

Fayulu says he won in a landslide in the December 30 ballot with more than 60 percent of votes and accuses Tshisekedi of striking a deal with Kabila to be declared the victor.

The coalition's presidential candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, finished a distant third with 24 percent of the vote. Turnout on the day stood at 48 percent.

The few pre-election opinion polls had flagged Fayulu as the clear favourite while Kabila critics predicted the outcome would be rigged in favour of Shadary rather than an opposition figure.

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DR Congo's powerful Roman Catholic church also said the election board's provisional result "does not correspond" with data collected from polling stations by its 40,000 election monitors. He claims he won the race with 61% of the vote.

"We don't expect the election to be annulled, but (a decision in favour of) a recount", Fayulu said.

TRT World's Franck Ucciardo has more.

Last week's election was originally scheduled for 2016 but was delayed as Kabila stayed in office past the end of his mandate, sparking protests that were crushed by security forces, leaving dozens dead.

Hours earlier, the election committee unveiled the results of legislative elections, which also took place on December 30, with supporters of the outgoing president winning a majority in the 500-seat National Assembly.

Polling day unfolded relatively peacefully, but suspicions over the count have deepened.

The turmoil has darkened hopes that the country will have its first peaceful handover of power since it gained independence in 1960.

At stake is political stewardship of this notoriously unstable central African nation which has a population of some 80 million and covers an area the size of western Europe.

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