The runner-up in the Democratic Republic of Congo‘s long-awaited presidential poll Martin Fayulu (62) denounced the results as an “electoral coup“.
These results have nothing to do with the truth at the ballot box,” Fayulu told Radio France International (RFI).”It’s a real electoral coup, it’s incomprehensible.”
The leader and founder of Engagement for Citizenship and Development party established in 2009 with two other MPs, Fayulu, a former Exxon Mobile top manager, is the favorite the influential Congo Catholic church.
“They have stolen the victory of the Congolese people, and the Congolese people will never accept that their victory is stolen,” Fayulu said.
He called “all those who observed the elections” to “tell us the truth, publish the results”. “We can not keep quiet, it’s a scam, it’s a joke that we can not accept today,” he insisted.
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.”
The US Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo is warning the American citizens to leave the country, while Congolese officials prepare to announce election results.
The Embassy in Kinshasa posted an alert on January 9, which requested the Americans in Congo to draw departure plans that do not rely on US government assistance. It urged Americans to avoid large crowds and demonstrations, and continuously monitor local media for updates.
Congo‘s election commission has said it will announce results of the December 30th election at 11 p.m. local time on January, 9.
Envoys of a leading Congolese presidential candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, have met with incumbent President Joseph Kabila’s staff to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, Tshisekedi’s aids said.
President Kabila’s staff, however, denied that any such meetings had occurred since the December 30 election, for which provisional results are expected to be announced later this week.
The election is meant to bring about Congo’s first democratic transition in 59 years of independence, but tensions are mounting as some in the opposition leaders accuse the government of trying to rig the vote.
Since the end of 2018 a prominent Belgium politician, Louis Michel has been attacked by Congolese opponents and received several letters containing death threats, media reports. (Image: archive).
“I have received several threatening letters, I have refused close protection but I am under surveillance, I do not want to say more,” said Louis Michel, the Member of the European parliament (MEP), former European Commissioner and father of the incumbent Prime Minister.
The threats launch started on December 10, in Oslo, during the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, after which a dozen Congolese opponents of the Union pour la Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) movement attacked the politician.
During the month of December, Louis Michel again received letters containing explicit death threats at his home in Jodoigne.
The MEP complained and the case was taken seriously by the State Security who offered him close protection. As he confirms himself, he has not accepted it but he has been under discreet surveillance ever since.
Polls taken over the last decade indicate that roughly 75% of Congolese population self identify as members of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).
From 1908 until independence in 1960 the Congo used to be a colony of Kingdom of Belgium. The former colony adopted its name – the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1964.
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the searches for the credibility of last weekend’s chaotic presidential election and to justify its decision to cut off Internet access to 80 million citizens in the aftermath.
The delayed election were finally organised to lead to Congo’s first democratic transfer of power, but the vote was marred by logistical problems and accusations from the opposition of fraud.
Initially the electoral commission had been scheduled to publish provisional results on Sunday but soon it changed their positions, and explained that could not be delayed because counting centers are still waiting for more than 80% of local vote tallies.
The opposition says the delay is a sign of fraud behind the scenes. However the regional observers insist the vote went well if taking into consideration the organisational challenges. Domestic monitors, however, have raised concerns about potential irregularities.
The Congo population represents more than 200 tribes. The four largest tribes in the Congo are the Mongo, Luba, Kongo, and Mangbetu-Azonde. Approximately 700 local languages and dialects are spoken on its vast territory. The majority of Congolese speak one of the following languages: Kikongo, Lingala, Tshiluba, Swahili, and French.
According to WorldoMeters the population of the Congo is as follows:
- The current population of the DR Congo is 85,377,780 as of Friday, January 4, 2019, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
- The DR Congo population is equivalent to 1.12% of the total world population.
- The DR Congo ranks number 16 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
- The population density in the DR Congo is 38 per Km2 (99 people per mi2).
- The total land area is 2,267,050 Km2 (875,313 sq. miles)
- 40.7 % of the population is urban (35,305,105 people in 2019)
- The median age in the DR Congo is 16.8 years.
Polling stations opened in Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, December 30, for a presidential election that is meant to lead to the country’s first democratic transfer of power.
Due to the time difference, voting started an hour earlier in eastern parts of the country. The last polls are scheduled to close at 1700 (1600 GMT), although voting will continue for those still in line.
President Joseph Kabila, ruling since his father’s assassination in 2001, is due to step down after the vote in a milestone change for a country suffering from authoritarian rule, coups and civil wars since independence from Belgium in 1960.
Kabila’s agreement to respect the constitutional term limits should represent progress for Congo and the continent.
Critics say the vote will be plagued by fraud, and that Kabila could continue to rule via his close allies. Formally he can also come back again for presidency in 2023.
There are reports of high turnout of the electorate in different places.
The citizens of areas excluded for Ebols risks decided to organise their own plebiscite, in spite of exclusion.