DRC: Losing Candidate To Challenge Election Results

One of the losing candidates of DRC’s presidential election has vowed to challenge the results. Martin Fayulu spoke to the BBC and said that the country deserved to know the truth of the presidential election.

The presidential election took place on December 30 after a one week delay. The election was surrounded by controversy even before it happened. Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, saw his term end in 2016. The electoral commission later announced that there was not enough funds and that it needed time to register voters.

The results were recently announced and Martin Fayulu ended in second place with 6.4 million votes. Felix Tshisekedi was declared winner with seven million votes.

During the wait, there was accusations that the government was trying to hide the results and that a power sharing deal was being negotiated. Mr. Fayulu said to the BBC’s Africa editor, Fergal Keane, that he would challenge the results through the constitutional court.


Mr. Fayulu said that there is little chance of success since the court is made up of Kabila’s people but added that he did not want to give his opposition any chance to say he didn’t take his time to follow the law.

Results

Mr. Kabila won elections in 2006 and 2011 and saw his last term end in 2016. The results, which came just hours ago, would mean the first transfer of power since the country gained independence from Belgium 59 years ago.

The participation of the election is said to be 48 percent. First and second place were separated by 600,000 but there was a big difference between second and third. Emmanuel Shadary finished with 4.4 million votes.

Any candidates that plan to challenge the results have two days from the day of the preliminary results. The court will then have a week to make a decision on the election. The BBC spoke to constitutional expert Jacques Ndjoli and he said that there are three possible outcomes. The court could either confirm that the results are correct, order a recount or cancel the results and order another election to be done.

The spokesman of the election winner has denied that they discussed a deal with Mr. Kabila. The candidate of the ruling party was Mr. Shadary, who finished in third with just over four million votes. He has not challenged the results but he has not ruled out the idea.

Cities Left Out

Just days before the election, it was announced that several cities and surrounding areas would not participate. The reason was over the Ebola outbreak and insecurity. The population in those cities took the streets to protest the announcement. Reports said this left out more than a million voters.

In the days after the election, internet and SMS services were shut down across the country. This sparked accusations that the government was looking to hide the results. A government official later explained that the services would remain down until the results came in to prevent any false results from spreading.


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