A senior adviser to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila says he accepts opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi’s victory in heavily disputed elections, Reuters news agency reports.
“Of course we are not happy as our candidate lost, but the Congolese people have chosen and democracy has triumphed,” Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi told Reuters.
In the early hours of Thursday the head of DR Congo’s National Electoral Commission (Ceni), Corneille Nangaa, said Mr Tshisekedi had received 38.5% of the vote and had been “provisionally declared the elected president”.
The full results were, with turnout reportedly 48%:
Felix Tshisekedi – 7 million votesMartin Fayulu – 6.4 million votesEmmanuel Shadary – 4.4 million votes
The election outcome was initially expected to be announced on Sunday. The interim result can still be challenged.
The man who had led the opinion polls, Martin Fayulu, has rejected the result, calling it an electoral coup.
He asked where Mr Tshisekedi’s votes had come from and called on election observers, including the Roman Catholic church, to publish the real results.
France ‘raises doubts’ about Tshisekedi’s win
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi’s victory did not conform with the results seen on the ground.
“We must have clarity on these results, which are the opposite to what we expected,” Mr Le Drian told French broadcaster CNews.
“The Catholic Church of Congo did its tally and announced completely different results,” he was quoted as saying.
Belgium also ‘doubts’ Tshisekedi’s win
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders has joined France in raising doubts about Felix Tshisekedi’s provisional victory in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election, reports say.
Mr Reynders said Belgium would use its temporary seat on the UN Security Council to seek clarification about the result, Reuters news agency quotes him as telling Belgian public broadcaster RTBF.
“We have some doubts that we need to check and which will be debated in the coming days in the Security Council,” Mr Reynders added.
If the result is confirmed, Mr Tshisekedi will move into the presidential mansion, occupied by Joseph Kabila for the last 18 years.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has never had an orderly transfer of power since independence in 1960, as this graphic shows