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DR Congo's Catholic Church says its election tally shows different victor

11 January 2019
DR Congo's Catholic Church says its election tally shows different victor

"You know that this proclamation is the fruit of results trafficked, invented and fabricated", Fayulu told reporters after the results were announced.

The South African government has tweeted a photo of Mr. Ramaphosa's meeting with President Lungu.

"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.

The Congolese capital of Kinshasa is reported relatively quiet early Thursday morning as the nation's electoral commission waited until the wee hours to declare opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the provisional victor of last month's long-delayed presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The result sets the stage for the country's first democratic transfer of power.

A local observer group said it had witnessed "major" irregularities at counting stations.

Congo on December 30 voted for a successor to departing President Joseph Kabila.

As the central African nation of 80 million people awaited the election results, riot police with water canon were deployed around the electoral commission and Kinshasa's main boulevard in anticipation of possible unrest.

The Church said in a statement, "The results from the presidential election as published by CENI [Independent National Electoral Commission] do not correspond to the data collected by our observation mission from polling stations and vote counts".

Resident John Kabamba says it "may be a message that the publication (of the results) won't meet the expectations of the Congolese people".

Tshisekedi, candidate of the Cap for Change (CACH) coalition and UDPS party leader, won with 38.57 percent of more than 18 million ballots cast, Corneille Nangaa, the president of the election commission (CENI), told a news conference at about 3 a.m. (0200 GMT), that appeared timed to avoid any immediate reaction in the streets.

The first results could be announced as early as Wednesday.

The opposition was weakened by internal arguments and the exclusion by the electoral commission of two political heavyweights: Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former warlord, and Moïse Katumbi, a popular tycoon.

The DRC's powerful Catholic church says results tallied by its own election observers do not match the official ones.

Fayulu alleges that Kabila engineered a backroom deal with the largely untested Tshisekedi to protect his power base in a country with staggering mineral wealth.

They would be deployed if needed to protect United States citizens and diplomatic facilities in DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa, he said.

Even before the election announcement, some observers suggested that Kabila's government might make a deal with Tshisekedi as hopes faded for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who received just 23 percent of the vote. He is known as the "people's soldier" for leading protests against President Kabila.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) seemed poised on Wednesday to announce the results of presidential elections whose repeated delays have stoked fears for the giant country's stability.

Fayulu has led anti-government demonstrations.

Mr Kabila took office in 2001 ten days after his father, Laurent-Desire, was assassinated by one of his bodyguards.

Elected in 2006, Joseph Kabila secured another term in controversial elections in 2011.

Last week CENCO called on the election commission to publish results "in keeping with truth and justice", adding that data in its possession pointed to a clear victor.