DR Congo presidential election: Church questions outcomes

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Supporters of Felix Tshisekedi, leader of the Congolese main opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) who was announced as the winner of the presidential elections, celebrate outside the party's headquarters in Kinshasa

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Reuters

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There have been jubilant celebrations from Felix Tshisekedi’s supporters

The influential Catholic Church has questioned the official outcomes of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s controversial presidential election.

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was named the winner on Thursday.

Nevertheless, the Church, which posted 40,000 election observers, says the consequence doesn’t match its findings.

The runner-up, opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, has instructed the BBC he’ll mount a authorized problem in opposition to the official vote depend.

“The result’s a coup and never the reality from the poll,” he mentioned on Thursday. “The Congolese need change.”

He accused Mr Tshisekedi of reaching a power-sharing cope with the ruling social gathering, a declare the veteran determine has denied.

There are fears the consequence might set off unrest, with at the least two individuals killed within the western metropolis of Kikwit on Thursday.

Two law enforcement officials have been additionally killed, and 10 individuals have been wounded, AFP information company studies.

Nevertheless, most elements of the nation seem like calm.

Why is the consequence controversial?

If confirmed, Mr Tshisekedi would be the first opposition challenger to win for the reason that DR Congo gained independence in 1960.

He has vowed to be “the president of all DR Congolese”, saying: “No-one might have imagined such a state of affairs whereby an opposition candidate would emerge victorious.”

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Reuters

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Martin Fayulu mentioned the outcomes had “nothing to do with the reality”

Nevertheless, runner-up Martin Fayulu, who can also be an opposition candidate, has described it as an “electoral coup”.

The present president, Joseph Kabila, is stepping down after 18 years in workplace.

The candidate from Mr Kabila’s social gathering had initially been anticipated to win, however ended up ending third – and isn’t difficult the outcomes.

Mr Fayulu’s supporters say this backs their suspicion that Mr Tshisekedi has minimize a power-sharing cope with Mr Kabila. Mr Tshisekedi’s spokesman, Louis d’Or Ngalamulume, mentioned there was “by no means any deal”.

In the meantime, the Catholic Church says the consequence given by the electoral fee doesn’t correspond with its personal tally, and the French and Belgian governments have additionally expressed doubts in regards to the consequence.

The church didn’t title anybody in its assertion, and urged all events to chorus from violence.

Nevertheless, three diplomats talking anonymously to Reuters mentioned the church tallies had confirmed Mr Fayulu profitable.

Based on the Nationwide Electoral Fee (Ceni), Mr Tshisekedi obtained 38.5% of the vote within the 30 December election.

The complete outcomes have been, with turnout reportedly 48%:

  • Felix Tshisekedi – 7 million votes
  • Martin Fayulu – 6.Four million votes
  • Emmanuel Shadary – 4.Four million votes

Nevertheless, the consequence can nonetheless be challenged.

Why is the Church so influential?

About 40% of DR Congo’s inhabitants is Roman Catholic and the church has a large community of colleges and hospitals.

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Media captionPleasure and dismay at DR Congo election outcomes

It’s seen by many Congolese as an ethical voice in a rustic the place politics has so typically been tarnished by corruption, the BBC’s Africa editor, Fergal Keane, studies.

The Church might now be publicly doubting the outcomes however will probably be very cautious of any public demonstrations, as a result of it is aware of from the expertise of previous crackdowns that main individuals onto the streets can have tragic penalties, our correspondent provides.

The safety forces have used dwell ammunition in addition to tear gasoline and beatings throughout earlier protests.

Why DR Congo issues:

Who’s Felix Tshisekedi?

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AFP

  • Son of late veteran opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi, who died in 2017
  • He has promised to make the battle in opposition to poverty his precedence
  • Backed out of an opposition deal to have a unity candidate
  • Ran on his personal ticket with the backing of politician Important Kamerhe
  • Nicknamed “Fatshi”, brief for 3 of his names Felix Antoine Tshilombo
  • Turned chief of of his father’s UDPS social gathering in March 2018

What is the background?

DR Congo is a rustic the dimensions of Western Europe and Mr Kabila had promised its first orderly switch of energy since independence from Belgium in 1960.

He took over from his assassinated father Laurent in 2001.

Elected in 2006, Joseph Kabila secured one other time period in controversial elections in 2011.

He was barred from working for an additional time period beneath the structure, and was imagined to step down two years in the past, however the election was postponed after the electoral fee mentioned it wanted extra time to register voters.

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