20 January 2019

Congo-Kinshasa: Congo's Martin Fayulu Declares Himself President, Top Court Sides With Felix Tshisekedi

Photo: Radio Okapi/Ph. John Bompengo
Félix Tshisekedi.

The runner-up in the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Martin Fayulu, had said he was the real winner in the contest. But a high court ruling said the challenge was "unfounded."

The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of Congo rejected a challenge to last month's presidential election results. The high court said early Sunday that runner-up Martin Fayulu's challenge to Felix Tshisekedi's win was "inadmissible."

In the verdict, the court also rejected a request to carry out a recount and declared Tshisekedi "President of the Democratic Republic of Congo by simple majority".

The ruling comes shortly after the African Union had asked Congo to delay announcing the final election results, casting "serious doubts" about the vote.

On January 10, DR Congo's Electoral Commission said Tshisekedi had provisionally won with 38.57 percent of the vote against Fayulu's 34.8 percent.

Fayulu had denounced the figures and called the results as an "electoral coup," which he said was forged by Tshisekedi and President Joseph Kabila. Fayulu then filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court.

Upon hearing the top court's decision Fayulu remained defiant and declared himself president.

"The constitutional court has just confirmed that it serves a dictatorial regime ... by validating false results, (and enabling) a constitutional coup d'etat," he said in a statement.

Hundreds of supporters of opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, the declared winner of the election, gathered outside the court holding placards saying "No to interference" and "Independent country" as riot police stood nearby.

jcg/sms (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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