Ramaphosa 'takes note' of DRC's provisional vote results

Ramaphosa 'takes note' of DRC's provisional vote results

As Congo anxiously awaits the outcome of the presidential election, many in the capital say they are convinced that the opposition won and that the delay in announcing results is allowing manipulation in favour of the ruling party.

The latest indications are that provisional results will be now be released at about 22:00 GMT.

Fayulu has also openly disputed the results, calling the poll an "electoral coup".

"The Catholic Church of Congo did its tally and announced completely different results".

The delayed results, almost two weeks after the December 30 vote, came after global pressure to announce an outcome that reflected the will of the people, with the United States threatening sanctions. The machines were the focus of much concern, with the opposition and observers saying they could open the door to manipulating results.

The country's powerful church has called for calm and is asking the authorities to reflect the will of the people in the results.

Vital Kamerhe, one of Tshisekedi's supporters, told DW that following the election, DR Congo was among the countries that have seen peaceful turnover of power and that Kabila should receive some credit for that. The conclusions of 40,000 observers deployed by the church on the day of the election are that he won. There were other organisations monitoring the elections, such as the Southern African Development Community, but it isn't clear yet if they agree or disagree with the electoral commission's provisional election results.

But in the run-up to the results, Tshisekedi said Kabila had nothing to fear should he come to power, comments analysts interpreted as efforts to reassure the president and his supporters that interests accumulated over two decades in power were not at risk.

The difference between Tshisekedi and Fayulu in official results was some 684,000 votes.

Police said three people were killed in the eastern city of Kikwit, where Fayulu received strong support. Fayulu, by contrast, is backed by ex-rebel Jean-Pierre Bemba and former governor Moise Katumbi, two of Kabila's fiercest rivals.


Many noted that Fayulu's campaign suffered significantly more harassment than Tshisekedi's, and that the latter's rhetoric towards erstwhile enemies underwent a dramatic change in recent days.

He was barred from running for another term under the constitution, and was supposed to step down two years ago, but the election was postponed after the electoral commission said it needed more time to register voters.

The government has cut internet service since the day after the election to prevent speculation on social media about who won, and blocked some radio stations.

Kabila has ruled since 2001 in the troubled nation rich in the minerals key to smartphones around the world.

Some Congolese tired of Kabila's 18-year rule, the two turbulent years of election delays and years of conflict that killed millions of people said they simply wanted peace.

Mineral-rich DRC has been in the grip of a two-year crisis over the succession of Kabila, who announced last year he would finally step down after almost two decades in power.

Felix Tshisekedi was declared the victor of the country's long-delayed elections.

"This is the coronation of a lifetime", said the deputy secretary-general of Tshisekedi's party, Rubens Mikindo.

Now Congo faces a new leader who is little known after spending many years in Belgium and living in the shadow of his outspoken father.

Tshisekedi inherited the leadership of his UDPS party when his father Etienne Tshisekedi died in 2017. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

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