After a very long wait, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) declared Felix Tshisekedi winner with 38.57% of the vote, ahead of the other head of the divided opposition, Martin Fayulu, with 34.8%. The latter, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, disputed the result.
This is an unprecedented event in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and extremely rare in Central Africa: an opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, was proclaimed Wednesday, January 9 winner of the presidential election in a round three times postponed since late 2016. The "provisionally elected" president is to succeed outgoing head of state Joseph Kabila, 47.
After a very long wait, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) declared Felix Tshisekedi winner with 38.57% of the vote, ahead of the other head of the divided opposition, Martin Fayulu, with 34.8%. He immediately challenged the result and denounced a "Electoral coup".
DR Congo: after Felix Tshisekedi's victory, joy and questions
"Nobody could imagine such a scenario"
In his first speech, Felix Tshisekedi paid tribute to outgoing President Joseph Kabila: "Today, we must not consider him as an adversary but rather as a partner of the democratic alternation in our country".
"I am happy for you, Congolese people. This process everyone thought was going to lead to clashes and violence, to bloodshed "said Felix Tshisekedi. "Nobody could imagine such a scenario during which an opposition candidate would emerge victorious", he added.
The results of the CENI can still be appealed to the Constitutional Court which will proclaim the final results.
If confirmed, the new president will have to have a majority in the National Assembly to govern. Legislative and provincial elections were held on the same day as the presidential elections on Sunday, December 30.
Paris judges the results "not in conformity"
France said Thursday that the results of the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo announced Wednesday were "Not in conformity" and that opponent Martin Fayulu was "A priori" the winner.
"It seems that the results proclaimed (…) do not conform to the results" French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on CNews. "Mr Fayulu was a priori the outgoing leader of these elections", he added.
UN calls for "abstain from violent acts"
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to "Abstain" of violent acts after the proclamation of provisional results of the presidential election giving the opponent Felix Tshisekedi winner.
"The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to refrain from violent acts and to settle all electoral disputes through the institutional mechanisms established in accordance with the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the relevant electoral laws"said his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, in a press statement made public Wednesday night from New York.
In 2011, the re-election of President Kabila was tainted with contestation and violence.