DRC opposition candidate Fayulu to file election result challenge

Fayulu claims to have won 62 percent of the vote, a day after electoral commission declared Tshisekedi the winner.

Martin Fayulu, Congolese joint opposition presidential candidate,
Fayulu is challenging Tshisekedi, who was declared winner of the polls on Thursday [Baz Ratner/Reuters]

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) losing presidential candidate Martin Fayulu has announced he would file a court challenge to the election results, with his camp announcing he had won 62 percent of the vote.

Campaign official Fidele Babala told reporters on Friday that Fayulu won 62 percent of the vote, while President-elect Felix Tshisekedi took 18.9 percent and ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary received 18.5 percent.

Fayulu was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency that when “you know you are in the right, you are not allowed to remain home”, as he urged his supporters to “rise up”.

Fayulu will go to court on Saturday where he will present evidence which he hopes will prove his victory, Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from DRC’s capital Kinshasa, said.

The DRC has been tense in the lead up to Thursday’s announcement confirming Tshisekedi’s win, with riot police deployed at the electoral commission headquarters in Kinshasa on Wednesday.

There have been isolated incidents of post-election violence around the nation of 80 million people. Police confronted opposition protesters in eastern Goma city on Friday, killing at least one person, a witness told Reuters.

Many fear the new dispute could re-start a cycle of unrest in a country where wars causing hunger and disease have decimated the population in recent decades.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has counted thousands of votes, though the results are disputed [Reuters]
The Independent National Electoral Commission has counted thousands of votes, though the results are disputed [Reuters]

Tshisekedi’s victory raised the possibility of the first peaceful transfer of power in the DRC since it won independence from Belgium in 1960, but doubt has been cast over the election’s outcome by the opposition and Western powers.

The influential Catholic Church has also rejected the official result based on tallies by its 40,000-strong observer team. 

“We’re not really hearing that much from neighbouring countries in particular,” Mutasa continued, saying that many are suspicious of Western intentions, due to the long history of colonialism in the DRC.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies