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CONGO: Opposition leader wins election infographic
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Felix Tshisekedi declared winner in contentious result

01/10/2019
Graphic News

January 10, 2019 -- Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has been declared the surprise winner of the presidential vote in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the vast country braced for possible protests over alleged rigging.

Tshisekedi, who received more than 7 million votes, or 38 percent according to the electoral commission's results, had not been widely considered the leading candidate and is relatively untested. The son of late opposition leader Etienne, who pursued Congo's presidency for many years, he startled Congolese shortly before the election by breaking away from an opposition effort to unite behind a single candidate.

Tshisekedi's victory was quickly contested by opposition leader Martin Fayulu, who charged the results were rigged.

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. He claims that he won a majority of the votes and that he was deprived of victory because a deal was made with Tshisekedi.

Fayulu urged the Catholic Church to release the results from its team of 40,000 observers who recorded voting tallies posted at each of the polling centres. Last week, the Catholic Church said their observations showed a clear winner, and many say that was Fayulu.

Some observers suggested that President Joseph Kabila's government made a deal with Tshisekedi to declare him the winner, as hopes faded for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who received just 23 percent of the official results.

The constitutional court has 14 days to validate them.


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