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Congo grapples with surprise election outcome

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/10/19, 10:36 am

The electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday announced that opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi won the Dec. 30 presidential election in what was a surprise victory. Corneille Nangaa, the commission’s president, announced the delayed results, saying Tshisekedi received 38.6 percent of the more than 18 million votes cast. He had broken away from opposition efforts to unite behind a single presidential candidate shortly before the election.

The vote could mark the country’s first peaceful democratic transfer of power, but authorities are still bracing for protests. Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu rejected the results as “rigged, fabricated, and invented” and accused President Joseph Kabila of conspiring with Tshisekedi to sway the results. Fayulu secured 34 percent of the vote, while ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary garnered 23 percent.

The Congolese Catholic Church, which had closely observed the election, said the official results do not agree with its own tally.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.

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