African Leaders Meet in Ethiopia on Congo Election Results Dispute

Congo's Communications Minister Lambert Mende

Martin Fayulu was the clear victor of the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential elections last month, a Financial Times analysis of two separate collections of voting data shows, contradicting claims from authorities that rival contender Felix Tshisekedi had won the historic vote.

Mr Fayulu, a former Exxon Mobil manager, says Mr Tshisekedi, who is the president of Congo's largest opposition party, struck a deal with outgoing president Joseph Kabila to be declared victor.

According to the results seen by the FT, Mr Fayulu received more than 9.3m votes, 3m more than the electoral commission announced, and won in 19 of Congo's 26 provinces, including the capital Kinshasa and the heavily populated eastern provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu.

Mr Fayulu filed an appeal in the Constitutional Court on Saturday demanding a manual recount of votes. Neither side has acknowledged the accusations.

Western powers have not congratulated Tshisekedi, and France has expressed concern over the official results which saw Tshisekedi win 38.57 per cent of the vote to Fayulu's 34.8 per cent.

For their part, the African Union and several other global and regional groups asked the court to delay its ruling due to "serious doubts on the conformity of the provisional results, as proclaimed by the National Independent Electoral Commission, with the votes cast".

Another Independent body known as Congo Research Group on Wednesday published leaked data it said show Fayulu won the election by a large margin. Spokesman Lambert Mende told reporters that "the independence of our judiciary is no problem", but that "we will not refuse contacts with other members of the African Union".

Fayulu urged Congolese to take to the streets to peacefully protest what he called "constitutional coup d'etat", accusing the court of validating false results. "These two documents suggest that the elections were dramatically rigged in the favor of Felix Tshisekedi".

All of the election results, not just in the presidential race, have been widely questioned after Kabila's ruling coalition won a majority in legislative and provincial votes while its presidential candidate finished a distant third. I am engaged in a campaign to reconcile all Congolese. It may also worsen the sporadic unrest that has already seen 34 people killed, 59 wounded and 241 "arbitrary arrests" in the past week, according to the United Nations human rights office. It also was billed as marking the end of 18 years of rule by Joseph Kabila, who is accused of vast corruption.

The inauguration is planned for Tuesday, but could be delayed, Tshimanga said.

He called on the Congolese people to mobilise and defend the mineral-rich country's sovereignty.

Congo's election had been meant to take place in late 2016, and many Congolese anxious that Kabila, in power since 2001, was seeking a way to stay in office.

The figures provided are electronic tallies from 62,716 voting machines across the country and were obtained from the electoral commission's central database before the results were announced last week, the person said. Barred from serving three consecutive terms, Kabila already has hinted he might run again in 2023.

Election observers reported multiple problems, including the last-minute barring of some one million voters in the east, with the electoral commission blaming a deadly Ebola outbreak.



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