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

Marsha Scott
January 12, 2019

Why is France having a say in the elections of DR Congo?

Vote tallies compiled by Democratic Republic of Congo's Catholic Church contradict official presidential results released by the election commission on Thursday, two diplomats said.

The candidate of Congo's ruling party, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who came third in the official results, has through his spokeswoman congratulated the victor, Felix Tshisekedi.

Mr Nshole urged all Congolese to remain peaceful and said those who challenge the official results should do so within the legal framework and without violence.

"We see that the result of the presidential election as published by CENI (the electoral commission) does not correspond with the data collected by our observer mission from polling stations and counting centres", said Father Donatien Nshole, spokesman for the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), which represents the country's Catholic bishops.

The church did not name a victor, but reports say it's count finds opposition candidate and businessman Martin Fayulu coming out on top.

Earlier Thursday Fayulu also expressed alarm at the results when he said an "electoral coup" had taken place.

"We must have clarity on these results, which are the opposite to what we expected", Le Drian told CNews.

Fellow opposition candidate Fayulu who was backed by former Katanga governor Moise Katumbi - considered a traitor by Kabila - and ex-warlord and former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, had also sounded a conciliatory tone.

Even as Tshisekedi and his supporters celebrate their victory, Fayulu was arguably the most important candidate in these elections.

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Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was early Thursday morning declared the victor of the DRC presidential election, while disputes over the results emerged. "Mr Fayulu was in principle the leader to come out of these elections".

Fayulu's supporters say the authorities rigged the result on behalf of Tshisekedi as part of a deal to protect figures from the outgoing administration.

Fayulu's bloc on Friday said he was the true victor, claiming he had garnered 61 percent of the vote.

The delayed results came after worldwide pressure to announce an outcome that reflected the will of the people.

The mineral-rich country has never had a peaceful transition of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Mineral-rich DRC has been in the grip of a two-year crisis over the succession of Kabila, who announced last year he would finally step down after almost two decades in power.

Many noted that Fayulu's campaign suffered significantly more harassment than Tshisekedi's, and that the latter's rhetoric towards erstwhile enemies underwent a dramatic change in recent days.

Defiantly, tens of thousands of voters in one of the barred communities held their own ballot on election day. This means it was his experience which led to his candidature being ratified by the electoral commission.

Kabila, 47, was due to step down two years ago but clung to office, sparking widespread protests that were repressed at the cost of scores of lives. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

"This is because a Tshisekedi presidency would be the least bad alternative to a Shadary victory for the regime as it would put a veil of legitimacy on the electoral process and would be more manageable than a Fayulu presidency", she said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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