KINSHASA – Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu rejected on Thursday the election results in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after the Election Commission named his rival Felix Tshisekedi as winner.
Tshisekedi broke away from opposition group Lamuka (meaning “Wake up” in Lingala), led by Fayulu, to form his own coalition in mid-November.
In a statement to the Congolese people, Fayulu said, “You know that this announcement is the fruit of results that were tampered with, invented and fabricated. These results have nothing to do with the truth of the ballots.”
Tshisekedi won more than 38 percent of the votes cast in the presidential elections of Dec. 30, while Fayulu came in second with almost 35 percent, followed Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary of the ruling coalition, who achieved close to 24 percent.
Voter turnout stood at 47.56 percent of more than 18 million registered voters.
“No Congolese citizen can tolerate such treachery, which is a serious assault on the dignity of our country and our people,” Fayulu said in the statement.
Tshisekedi’s victory puts an end to two years of election delays since President Kabila – in power for almost 18 years – stepped down after his mandate expired in Dec. 2016.
The polls, initially set for Dec. 23, were postponed by a week after a fire destroyed 80 percent of the voting machines due to be used in Kinshasa.
The presidential elections had already been delayed for two years since Kabila’s term expired, but the electoral commision said it was unable to hold elections due to technical difficulties.
The electoral body has delayed elections in the eastern towns of Beni and Butembo, as well as Yumbi in the west until March 2019, due to an ongoing Ebola epidemic and insecurity caused by terrorism threats.
Candidates and parties will have three days to appeal the results before the Constitutional Court, which in turn will have another week to publish the official results.