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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Congo Runner-Up to Challenge Election Outcome


7Dnews London

Sat, 12 Jan 2019 13:04 GMT

The runner-up candidate in the Congo's national elections Martin Fayulu has said he intends to challenge the results in court.

Speaking on Friday January 11th, he said his party is ready to contest the results which declared opposition politician Felix Tshisekedi as the winner and the next president of the Congo. 

Giving credence to Fayulu's challenge is the support from his opposition coalition, which claims Fayulu actually received about 61% of the vote. Additionally, the Catholic Church in the Congo supported this view, stating they believe Tshisekedi only received about 18% of the vote. 

Fayulu has openly accused outgoing President Joseph Kabila of making a backroom deal with Tshisekedi.  

The Catholic Church, the rare authority that many Congolese find trustworthy, has said its 40,000 election observers in all polling stations found a different winner from the official results. While further information to support such a statement was not provided, diplomats who have been briefed on the findings said they found Fayulu won easily. 

Fayulu said he would file his court challenge on Saturday morning, 12th January.  

According to AP, this is the Congo's first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since independence in 1960. Observers in the region have, however, warned that a court challenge could push the country into chaos. Some Fayulu supporters are concerned the country's constitutional court could invalidate the results, keeping Kabila in power until a new election. 

Addressing the United Nations Security Council on Friday, electorial commission president Corneille Nangaa said there are only two options - either the official results are accepted, or the vote is annulled.