Congo’s Catholic church saying official results do not match the outcome compiled by its 40,000 observers at all polling stations across the troubled country.
The church refused to name its “clear winner,” but diplomats briefed on its findings said opposition leader Martin Fayulu won easily and that other election observer mission found similar results.
Fayulu alleges that President Joseph Kabila engineered a backroom deal with the largely untested Tshisekedi to thwart anti-corruption efforts in a country with staggering mineral wealth. An outspoken campaigner against Congo’s widespread graft — it ranked 161th among 180 countries in Transparency International’s latest index — Fayulu denounced the official vote results as “rigged.” He called on people to “rise as one man to protect victory.”
But the country remained largely calm as many Congolese appeared to accept the country’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power. Tshisekedi’s supporters with Congo’s most prominent opposition group took to the streets in jubilation.
It was not immediately clear whether Fayulu would challenge the election results in court. Candidates have two days after the announcement to file challenges and the constitutional court has seven days to consider them before results are final.