Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the winner of last month’s presidential election, but the runner-up contested the outcome as an “electoral coup”.
The result sets the stage for Congo’s first democratic transfer of power, however in a tense political standoff.
Tshisekedi won with 38.57% of more than 18 million ballots cast, Corneille Nangaa, the president of the election commission (CENI), told a news conference at 3 a.m. (0200 GMT) timed in the middle of the night to reduce street protests of frustrated losers.
Felix is son to late Étienne Tshisekedi the long-standing opposition leader, founder of the left-wing Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the major opposition party. On 31 March 2018, Felix Tshisekedi was elected at the head of the UDPS, becoming a political heir of his father after his death.
AMENDED: The UDPS party thanked all the supporters and declared the victory of its candidate as “a victory for the Congolese people“.
AMENDMENT: The Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations:
“The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms in line with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Constitution and relevant electoral laws.
“The Secretary-General expresses the hope that the CENI, the Constitutional Court, the Government, political parties and civil society will each live up to their responsibility in preserving stability and upholding democratic practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”