Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi wins DR Congo election

Martin Fayulu a former oil tycoon says authorities must announce results to avoid further tension. /COURTESY

Martin Fayulu a former oil tycoon says authorities must announce results to avoid further tension. /COURTESY

Congo's electoral commission says "everything is ready" for provisional results of the presidential election to be announced today.

In remarks made just hours after the provisional results were announced, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tshisekedi's opposition rival Fayulu, who was declared the runner up, should have been declared the victor.

The other main opposition candidate, former oil executive Martin Fayulu - who was tipped as favourite in the few pre-election opinion polls - came second, official results showed.

Long-delayed and widely anticipated, the election had the potential to be either the mineral-rich central African country's first peaceful democratic transfer of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960, or a trigger-point for renewed violence. Stability in the vast...

"The results have nothing to do with the truth of the ballot box", he said in an interview with Radio France Internationale, calling on observers to publish the real results. The influential Catholic Church, which deployed 40,000 observers during the vote and has been monitoring the polls, warned that there had been irregularities.

Tshisekedi's running mate Vital Kamerhe, head of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC), told RFI that there was "no deal" between the opposition coalition of Tshisekedi and the pro-Kabila Common Front for Congo (FCC) party.

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Anti-riot police with water cannon and armored vehicles are outside Congo's electoral commission ahead of the announcement of the first results of the presidential election.

Analysts are now looking to the verdict of the influential body representing Congo's Catholic bishops that said January 3 that results gathered at polling stations on election day by its 40,000-strong observation mission showed which candidate had won, without naming the person.

But Tshisekedi never accepted his seat as he did not recognise his father's 2011 election defeat to President Joseph Kabila, who ruled the DRC since 2001.

Fayulu and ruling party candidate Shadary can contest the results before the country's constitutional court, which has 10 days to hear and rule on any challenges.

"CENCO carried out an inspection and declared a result which was totally different", he said, referring to the body representing the country's Catholic bishops. Congo's first use of electronic voting machines in the December 30 election led to widespread concern that they could be used to manipulate results.

Campaign groups on Wednesday had called for the immediate release of the results and told people "to be prepared to go out onto the streets in massive numbers" if the outcome failed to accurately reflect the vote. "They will not steal victory from Martin Fayulu", he said.

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