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DR Congo court upholds election result

DR Congo court upholds election result

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Felix Tshisekedi leads DR Congo’s largest opposition party, founded by his late father The constitutional court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has upheld the victory of opposition presidential candidate Felix Tshisekedi.The court rejected an appeal by Martin Fayulu, another opposition contender in the 30 December poll. Mr Fayulu argued…

Felix Tshisekedi waving after he was announced as winner of the elections in Kinshasa, DR Congo - 10 January 2019 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Felix Tshisekedi leads DR Congo’s largest opposition party, founded by his late father

The constitutional court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has upheld the victory of opposition presidential candidate Felix Tshisekedi.

The court rejected an appeal by Martin Fayulu, another opposition contender in the 30 December poll.

Mr Fayulu argued that Mr Tshisekedi had made a power-sharing deal with outgoing President Joseph Kabila. Mr Tshisekedi’s team denies this.

Despite the court ruling, Mr Fayulu said he was a “legitimate” president.

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Media captionJoy and dismay at DR Congo election results

The African Union (AU) said on Friday that there were “serious doubts” about the outcome of elections.

What did the court say?

The court said Mr Fayulu had failed to prove that the election commission had announced false results.

It went on to declare “Felix Tshisekedi president of the Democratic Republic of Congo by simple majority”.

He is now expected to be sworn in within 10 days.

The confirmation of the official result creates the first orderly transfer of power since DR Congo’s independence from Belgium in 1960.

The electoral commission earlier announced that Mr Tshisekedi had received 38.5% of the vote, compared with 34.7% for Mr Fayulu.

Ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Shadary took 23.8%.

However, Mr Fayulu had argued that Mr Tshisekedi had stuck a deal with Mr Kabila, who has been in office for 18 years.

After the ruling, Mr Fayulu urged the international community not to recognise the election result.

What did others say?

The official figures have been disputed by the influential Catholic Church which says it deployed 40,000 election monitors across the country.

International experts based in the US, and the French and German governments, have also raised doubts.

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Media captionDR Congo’s journey into chaos

Meanwhile, the UN says ethnic violence in the west of the country left at least 890 people dead over just three days last month.

Clashes between the Banunu and Batende communities took place in four villages in the area of Yumbi between 16 and 18 December, according to the UN Human Rights Office.

Voting in the presidential election was postponed in Yumbi because of the violence.

Most of the area’s population has reportedly been displaced, including some 16,000 people who sought refuge by crossing the Congo river into neighbouring Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville.

Some 465 houses and buildings were burned down or pillaged, including two primary schools, a health centre, and the office of the independent electoral commission, the UN said.

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