Democratic Republic of Congo opposition chief Martin Fayulu mentioned Friday he’ll problem the official election end result on the nation’s constitutional courtroom, as one in every of his marketing campaign aides claimed his candidate had gained in a landslide.
Preliminary outcomes introduced early Thursday by Congo’s electoral fee mentioned one other opposition chief, Felix Tshisekedi, had come first within the Dec. 30 presidential election with 38.6% of the vote.
The gorgeous end result, the primary time in Congo’s historical past that an opposition candidate has been declared the winner of a presidential vote, sparked allegations, together with from Mr. Fayulu, of manipulation.
Mr. Fayulu’s supporters and plenty of analysts mentioned they imagine Mr. Tshisekedi had entered a secret power-sharing cope with outgoing President Joseph Kabila, who has been reluctant to surrender energy after 18 years. Representatives for Messrs. Tshisekedi and Kabila have denied that such a deal exists.
The dispute over the election outcomes dangers sparking additional violence in a rustic that has been racked by battle for the previous 25 years. Not less than 12 folks died Thursday in violent protests within the central province of Kwilu, the place two cops have been lynched and 10 civilians have been shot, mentioned the top of the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in Congo, Leila Zerrougui. Ms. Zerrougui mentioned the mission was nonetheless investigating different incidents that might have led to extra deaths.
Throughout a gathering between Mr. Fayulu and his supporters within the capital Kinshasa Friday, a senior marketing campaign official mentioned his candidate had gained 61.51% of the vote, citing an unofficial tally compiled by Congo’s influential Catholic Church.
Mr. Fayulu mentioned he would enter his authorized problem of the official outcomes at Congo’s constitutional courtroom Saturday morning, asking his supporters to accompany him to the courtroom home. After he left the assembly, closely armed police used tear gasoline to disperse his supporters.
The Catholic Church has privately advised diplomats that information collected by its 40,000 election observers confirmed Mr. Fayulu, a former Exxon Mobil Corp. nation supervisor, was the clear winner. In a information convention Thursday, church representatives mentioned their very own vote depend contradicted the official outcomes, however didn’t identify Mr. Fayulu. The church additionally hasn’t mentioned what number of votes it believes the 62-year outdated obtained.
Church representatives couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon the Fayulu marketing campaign’s declare.
By publicizing what it mentioned was the church’s tally, the Fayulu marketing campaign put Congo’s bishops within the scorching seat, pressuring them to launch their vote depend.
Briefing the United Nations Safety Council Friday, Marcel Utembi, the archbishop of town of Kisangani, mentioned the church’s observer mission was assured of its personal calculation of the election final result, which he mentioned had a margin of error of simply 1%. He requested the Safety Council to demand Congo’s electoral fee publish outcomes from particular person polling stations to dispel doubts over the election final result.
The Fayulu marketing campaign official, Fidele Babala, mentioned Mr. Tshisekedi, chief of Congo’s largest opposition get together, had gained 18.86% of the vote, adopted by Emmanuel Shadary, Mr. Kabila’s most popular candidate, once more citing the church tally.
Pre-election opinion polls had forecast that Mr. Fayulu would get round 47% of the vote, forward of Messrs. Tshisekedi and Shadary.
Backed by two rich Congolese politicians who had been blocked from working themselves, Mr. Fayulu’s marketing campaign drew massive crowds, particularly of younger folks, all through the previous Belgian colony.
—Christine Tshibuyi contributed to this text.
Write to Gabriele Steinhauser at [email protected]