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DR Congo’s shock vote result headed for the courts

AFP
Kinshasa
The outcome of DR Congo’s tempestuous presidential election appeared to be headed for the courts Friday after the poll’s runner-up said he would demand a recount.
Martin Fayulu, an opposition candidate tipped by pollsters as the likely winner of the December 30 vote, told supporters: “We will go to the Constitutional Court on Saturday... (to demand) a recount of the vote.” He said he would ask election chief Corneille Nangaa “to produce the tally reports from polling stations in front of witnesses” and Congolese and international observers. Provisional results released on Thursday declared Felix Tshisekedi, a rival opposition candidate, the victor with 38.57 percent of the vote, just ahead of Fayulu with 34.8 percent.
Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, the candidate backed by outgoing President Joseph Kabila, came a distant third with 23.8 percent. Turnout on the day stood at 48 percent.
The declared result was a surprise to many.
The few pre-election opinion polls had flagged Fayulu as the clear favourite while Kabila critics predicted the outcome would be rigged in favour of Shadary rather than an opposition figure. The powerful Roman Catholic church on Thursday bluntly said the result “does not correspond” with data that its 40,000 election monitors had collected at polling stations.
Fayulu’s bloc on Friday said he was the true victor, claiming he had garnered 61 percent of the vote.

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