Elections in DR Congo: candidate Martin Fayulu appeals the result


Police officers stand guard in front of supporters of opposition opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu, gathered to attend a rally in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, on January 11 2019Copyright of the image


Armed policemen patrolled Friday at a gathering of Fayulu supporters

An opposition presidential candidate in the Democratic Republic of Congo appealed to the constitutional court against last month's election results.

Martin Fayulu insists that he won the vote and asked for a manual recount, but the electoral commission declared his rival, Felix Tshisekedi, winner.

Troops were deployed near Mr. Fayulu's residence and outside the courthouse.

He accuses Mr. Tshisekedi, also an opposition candidate, of having reached an agreement with incumbent President Joseph Kabila.

Fayulu arrived Saturday at court.

At the announcement of the call, his lawyer, Feli Ekombe, quoted by AFP, said: "The petition calls for the cancellation of the results proclaiming the President of the Republic, Felix Tshisekedi, it was presented yesterday. [Friday] and today we have come to collect receipts for this petition. "

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Fayulu (second from right) received an acknowledgment of receipt on Saturday for his Supreme Court petition.

Sending earlier to Fergal Keane, editor-in-chief of BBC Africa, Mr Fayulu said: "I will do everything in my power to get the truth because the Congolese want change."

The Saturday, Mr Fayulu repeated that the result did not reflect "the truth of the polls".

The electoral commission also said that the pro-Kabila coalition won the majority of seats in parliament.

Several Western governments and the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in DR Congo have expressed surprise and concern over the announced results.

Mr Kabila has been in power for 18 years and the result, if confirmed, would create the first orderly transfer of power since the independence of Belgium in 1960.

What does Fayulu say?

Dozens of Fayulu supporters gathered outside his home in the capital, Kinshasa, to chant slogans against Kabila and Tshisekedi.

However, they fled to the interior of the building when security forces arrived on Saturday, Reuters news agency reported.

Mr. Fayulu admitted that his court challenge would be unlikely to succeed to the extent that the constitutional court was "composed of the people of Kabila", but he stated that he did not wish to leave to his opponents the possibility of saying that he had not respected the law.

"Felix Tshisekedi was appointed by Mr. Kabila to perpetuate the Kabila regime because today his leader is Kabila," Fayulu said.

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Questions remain about Joseph Kabila's role in the election result

"Mr. Kabila can not stay and make arrangements with someone who will have no power … Mr. Tshisekedi knows himself that he has not won."

Fayulu said he feared violence if the electoral commission did not provide the correct "polling station by polling station" figures and that all Congolese had the right to protest in accordance with the law.

Was there violence?

Thousands of Mr. Tshisekedi's supporters took to the streets to celebrate, but those who supported Fayulu also demonstrated.

Violent scenes were reported in Kikwit, where at least two policemen and two civilians were reportedly killed.

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Media legendJoy and dismay at the election results in DR Congo

Several hundred students demonstrated against the result and reportedly were scattered by tear gas in the town of Mbandaka.

Demonstrations were also reported in Kisangani, but the south, where Mr Tshisekedi enjoys wide support, was mainly in celebration.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged all parties to "refrain from violence" and widespread unrest has not yet been reported.

What was the result of the election?

According to the National Electoral Commission (Ceni), Tshisekedi received 38.5 percent of the vote in the December 30 elections.

The complete results were:

  • Felix Tshisekedi – 7 million votes
  • Martin Fayulu – 6.4 million votes
  • Emmanuel Shadary – 4.4 million votes

The participation rate would have been 48%.

What could happen next?

Candidates must appeal to the Constitutional Court within 48 hours of the announcement of provisional results.

The judges will then have seven days to deliberate.

Jacques Ndjoli, an expert in constitutional law, told the BBC that there were three possible outcomes: the court could confirm Mr Tshisekedi's victory, order a recount or cancel the results and hold new elections.

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Felix Tshisekedi won the victory

The Constitutional Court has never annulled the results and some think that most of its judges are close to the ruling party.

If Mr. Tshisekedi were confirmed as the winner, he should be inaugurated within 10 days.

Why DR Congo is important: