KINSHASA, Jan 10, 2019 (AFP & ATP) – Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was on Thursday declared the winner of DR Congo’s presidential the election, but his victory was dismissed by the runner-up and
questioned by the Catholic church, clouding the vote’s legitimacy and hopes of peace.
DR Congo has finally delivered the result of its much-delayed presidential vote, but the risk of an explosion of violence in this the notoriously unstable nation remains high, analysts say.
After an election that went ahead relatively peacefully, the outcome marks the first time in DRC’s history since independence in 1960 that power will change hands through an electoral process.
But bitterness among supporters of runner-up Martin Fayulu and speculation about a deal between the provisional winner Felix Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila will raise questions of legitimacy, fuelling volatility, commentators said.
Hours after DRC’s election board declared Tshisekedi victor of the December 30 poll, two police and two civilians were killed in clashes in the western city of Kikwit — a stronghold of Fayulu, who has
rejected the result.
The African Union has called for political dialogue after the victory of the opposition’s Felix Tshisekedi was dismissed as an unacceptable electoral scam by another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu.
The Catholic Church which is highly influential in Congo added to the suspicion that there was foul play by saying its own tally of results did not match the official result.
France, however, broke ranks to challenge the official result. “It really seems that the declared results … are not consistent with the true results,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told CNews television.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged all sides “to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms,” his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
The South African leader Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa urged CENI to rapidly conclude the process so as to guarantee the credibility of elections and maintain peace and stability.