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Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won the
Democratic Republic of Congo presidential election

KINSHASA Democratic Republic of Congo (Xinhua) -- Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to interim results proclaimed early Thursday morning by the electoral commission.

According to the electoral commission, Tshisekedi, candidate of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), has collected more than seven million votes cast in the elections across the country, with the exception of three cities where polls were not conducted for safety reasons.

Tshisekedi ran ahead of Martin Fayulu of the "Lamuka" coalition, and far ahead of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, candidate for the ruling coalition.

The final results will be proclaimed in the coming days according to a new timetable after confirmation of these provisional results by the Constitutional Court in accordance with the DRC’s national law.

Tshisekedi inherited the presidency of the UDPS after the death of his father Etienne Tshisekedi, the first opposition leader in the DRC’s history.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Opposition candidate Tshisekedi wins Democratic Republic
of Congo Presidential Election says Electoral Commission

KINSHASA Democratic Republic of Congo (Xinhua) -- Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to interim results proclaimed early Thursday morning by the electoral commission.

Interim results show that Tshisekedi received more than 7 million votes, or 38 percent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) of DRC announced.

DRC held elections on Dec. 30, 2018 and the results were scheduled to be announced on Jan. 6.

But the CENI put off announcing the results due to problems with collecting data.
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UPDATES:

At least two killed in violence after Democratic
Republic of Congo vote results announced

KINSHASA Democratic Republic of Congo (Xinhua) -- At least two people were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Thursday as violence broke out after opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was declared winner of the presidential election.

In the western town of Kikwit, two people were shot dead and several were wounded during a demonstration against the interim election results announced by the electoral commission on Thursday morning, according to an on-site report from the authorities.

Protesters also set fire to a building housing police station offices while four public buses were also set on fire.

The part of the country is the stronghold of Martin Fayulu, the candidate who came second after Tshisekedi.

In the cities of Kisangani and Goma, the police dispersed Fayulu’s supporters who protested against the results.

Fayulu had rejected the results at a press conference held a few hours after the results were announced, saying the results have nothing to do with the truth at the ballot box.

According to the interim results proclaimed by the electoral commission, Tshisekedi, candidate of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), received more than seven million votes across the country. Polls were not held in three cities for safety reasons.

Tshisekedi ran ahead of Fayulu of the "Lamuka" coalition, and far ahead of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, candidate for the ruling coalition.

In a statement released on Thursday, the United States demanded the "clarification of questions which have been raised regarding the electoral count" while "urge all stakeholders to remain calm as the process continues."

The results also drew doubts from France and Belgium.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday questioned the results of the election and believed that Tshisekedi’s victory did not accord with what was seen on the ground.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said Belgium will raise the issue at United Nations (UN) Security Council.

However, Shadary, who came third in the results, has congratulated Tshisekedi via his spokeswoman.

The final results will be proclaimed in the coming days according to a new timetable after confirmation of these provisional results by the Constitutional Court in accordance with the DRC’s national law.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all stakeholders to refrain from violence, according to a statement released on the UN website late Wednesday in New York.

The African Union on Thursday also stressed the need for all concerned stakeholders to consolidate democracy and to preserve peace.

Tshisekedi took over the UDPS presidency from his late father Etienne Tshisekedi, the first opposition leader in the DRC’s history.

The DRC held presidential elections on Dec. 30, 2018 and the results were scheduled to be announced on Jan. 6. But the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) put off announcing the results due to problems with collecting data.
.

African Union urges Democratic Republic of the Congo to consolidate
democracy and preserve peace following provisional election results

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission on Thursday stressed the need for all concerned stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to consolidate democracy and to preserve peace following the release of interim results of the presidential election.

Moussa Faki Mahamat took cognizance of the provisional results of the presidential election in the DRC, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, according to an AU statement.

"The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates his congratulations to the people, political actors, civil society and the relevant national institutions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the conduct of the elections under conditions deemed satisfactory by the AU Election Observation Mission led by President Dioncounda Traore," read the statement.

The AU commission chairperson further "stressed the need for all concerned stakeholders to act in a way that consolidates democracy and preserves peace in the country."

"It is important that any challenge to the provisional results, including claims of inconsistencies with the verdict of the ballot box, be pursued peacefully, through avenues provided by the existing national legal framework, and political dialogue among all stakeholders," the statement quoted Faki as saying.

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was early Thursday morning declared the winner of the DRC presidential election, while disputes over the results emerged.

According to interim results announced by the electoral commission, Tshisekedi, candidate of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), received more than seven million votes across the country. Polls were not held in three cities for safety reasons.

Tshisekedi ran ahead of Martin Fayulu of the "Lamuka" coalition, and far ahead of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, candidate for the ruling coalition.

Faki also underlined that "regardless of the final official results of the elections, the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo requires genuine national consensus based on respect for democratic principles and human rights, as well as the preservation and consolidation of peace."

The runner-up Fayulu denounced the results as an "electoral coup," saying they have nothing to do with the truth at the ballot box.

The final results are expected to be proclaimed in the coming days according to a new timetable after confirmation of these provisional results by the Constitutional Court in accordance with the DRC’s national law.
.

United Nations watching post-election
situation in Democratic Republic of Congo

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- The United Nations is closely watching the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as disputes over the outcome of last week’s presidential poll might lead to instability, said a UN spokesman on Thursday.

The UN mission in the DRC continues to follow closely developments in the country although it reports that the situation remains relatively calm, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Ahead of the declaration of provisional results on Wednesday, the mission had continued to provide its good offices by meeting with key stakeholders and to try to defuse tensions in line with its mandate, he said.

Following the announcement of the provisional results of the Dec. 30 presidential election, Guterres called on all stakeholders to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms.

In a statement issued late Wednesday night, Dujarric said Guterres expressed the hope that the electoral authority, the Constitutional Court, the government, political parties and civil society would each live up to their responsibility in preserving stability and upholding democratic practices in the country.

The secretary-general further reiterated the continued support and commitment of the United Nations, in collaboration with regional actors and international partners, for the consolidation of peace, stability and development in the DRC, said the statement.

DRC elections were long overdue. A political agreement on Dec. 31, 2016 allowed President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, to stay on after his term of office had expired, on the condition that elections would be held within 2017.

But elections were delayed on the grounds of logistics, triggering unrest.

In November 2017, the country’s electoral commission published an electoral calendar for the combined presidential, legislative and provincial elections for Dec. 23, 2018. The elections were held on Dec. 30.
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FURTHER READING:

Deutsche Welle Opinion: Democratic Republic of Congo still plagued by chaos

             

 

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