An 'electoral coup' in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

An 'electoral coup' in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

The Latest on Congo's presidential election results.

CENI announced around 0200 GMT that opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, 55, had won the December 30 vote, edging out another opposition candidate, businessman Martin Fayulu.

Felix Tshisekedi, named as the surprise, provisional victor of last month's much delayed presidential vote, is the 55-year-old son of the country's most respected opposition leader.

Fayulu, who vowed in his campaign to to clean up Congo's widespread corruption, received more than 6 million votes, or 34 percent, of the electoral commission's results. And its unofficial results were highly anticipated given previous statements claiming that it indeed knew who the Congolese people had chosen as president.

Fayulu alleges that Kabila engineered a backroom deal with the largely untested Tshisekedi to protect his power base in a country with staggering mineral wealth.

France has added its voice to concerns about the legitimacy of the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC's) presidential election results, which saw main opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi win after securing over 37 percent of the vote.

Just hours later, the Church said election results tallied by its 40,000 observers scattered across the country showed a different victor, without specifying who.

Several diplomats briefed on the matter confirmed to The Associated Press that the figures compiled by the Catholic Church showed that Fayulu won an absolute majority of the votes. We also applaud the work done by the monitoring missions of regional organizations, the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, and Congolese civil society.

In an unusually blunt comment on a foreign election, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also waded into the controversy, describing the results as "not consistent" with observers' reports. "In 2006, Jean-Pierre Bemba's victory was stolen, in 2011 Étienne Tshisekedi's victory was stolen".

The runner-up, opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, has accused Mr Tshisekedi of reaching a power-sharing deal with the ruling party.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was on Thursday named the provisional victor of a long-awaited presidential poll paving the way for the crisis-hit country's first transfer of power in 18 years.

Foreign leaders reacted cautiously to the outcome of DR Congo's presidential election Thursday (10 January), with many choosing not to congratulate the man declared victor and appealing for disputes to be settled peacefully. The New York Times cited a senior adviser to Kabila as saying the Catholic group believed Fayulu, rather than Tshisekedi, won comfortably.

South Africa, however, has been under pressure to be more outspoken on Congo amid tensions over the long-delayed vote.

And as the country prepares to enter a new era without President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since the previous incumbent, his father, was assassinated in 2001, the Secretary-General reiterated "the continued support and commitment" of the United Nations.

Among the challenges he would face is an Ebola outbreak in the east of the country. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

The current president, Joseph Kabila, is stepping down after 18 years in office.

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