Presidential election in the DRC: Martin Fayulu to go to Constitutional Court

The candidate claims victory in the December 30 election, while preliminary results give Felix Tshisekedi winner.


Martin Fayulu at a press conference in Kinshasa, DRC, January 8, 2019. Baz Ratner / REUTERS

Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, who officially came in second in the December 30 presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), announced on Friday (January 11th) that he would file a complaint for fraud in the Constitutional Court.

His campaign team claims that he won 61.51% of the vote, compared to only 18.86% for the winner, Felix Tshisekedi, candidate of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS, opposition), which the provisional results of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are worth 38.57% of the vote. The government's candidate, former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, would have come in third with 18.49 percent, according to Fidèle Babala, head of Fayulu's campaign.

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The results of the election were announced in the early hours of Thursday by the CENI. As of this proclamation, Martin Fayulu has forty-eight hours to contest these results in court.

"Electoral Putsch"

"We know that the Constitutional Court is made up of supporters of Kabila [the outgoing president], but we do not want them to say that we have not followed the law. We want to do everything we can to get a fair and clear result, " Martin Fayulu told the BBC. In an interview the day before Radio France International (RFI), Fayulu, widely favored by the polls before the poll, had already denounced an "electoral coup" and "results that have nothing to do with the truth urns " .

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The National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (Cenco), which had deployed 40 000 scrutineers on polling day, declared that the winner announced by the CENI did not correspond to the one from his own count. The Cenco has not given the name of the one she considers the winner, but, according to three diplomats, it is indeed Mr. Fayulu. France and Belgium expressed doubts about the officially announced results.

Suspicion prevailed even before the announcement of the results, with observers reporting irregularities and rumors of secret negotiations between Joseph Kabila's regime and Felix Tshisekedi for power-sharing.

Five dead in Kikwit

While the results of the national legislative elections, which also took place on December 30, are to be announced this Friday night, the tension is palpable in the country. Pro-Fayulu, gathered in the Lamuka coalition backed by former Katanga ex-governor, Katumbi, and former warlord and former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, protested in Kisangani (north) -est), in some neighborhoods of Kinshasa and especially in Kikwit (west), one of his fiefs.

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"In the operation to restore public order Thursday in Kikwit , the new record is five dead," told AFP Friday, Colonel Pierrot-Rombaut Mwanamputu, spokesman for the police. "The Congolese national police deny having recorded two deaths in its ranks, but confirms the death of the wife of a police inspector among the five people killed ," he said. The transmitter of the Congolese National Radio and Television was also ransacked by demonstrators in Kikwit. "

The day before, Kikwit's police chief, General Dieudonné Mutepeke, told AFP he had recorded two dead in his ranks during the crackdown on a demonstration by Martin Fayulu's supporters.

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REF: https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/01/11/presidentielle-en-rdc-martin-fayulu-va-saisir-la-cour-constitutionnelle_5407902_3212.html

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