AU urges DRC to consolidate democracy, preserve peace following provisional election results

Congo braces for election results after commission meets overnight

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Congo's president says nothing can stop long-awaited elections from taking place even as fears mount of a possible delay.

Kinshasa, Jan 10 (Prensa Latina) Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has become Thursday the fifth president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), winning the general elections held on December 30, according to preliminary data.

Some observers have suggested President Joseph Kabila's government sought to make a deal as hopes faded for a win for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary. I ask the Cenco, the Church of Christ in Congo, the Symocel and all those who observed the elections to tell us the truth, to publish the results.

"It is important that any disagreement over the proclaimed results, notably that they did not reflect voters' wishes, be resolved peacefully, by turning to the relevant laws and through political dialogue between the parties involved", read a statement from the office of AU chief Moussa Faki Mahamat.

The other main opposition candidate, former oil executive Martin Fayulu - who was tipped as favourite in the few pre-election opinion polls - came second, official results showed.

Fayulu said the Congolese people were being cheated and called on people to push for his victory.

The DRC's powerful Catholic church says results tallied by its own election observers do not match the official ones. The Church said its vote count showed a different victor but did not specify which candidate, Reuters reports.

Vote tallies by Congo's Catholic Church had Favulu as the victor, according to two diplomats briefed on the findings.

But French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said Tshisekedi's victory contrasted with observations in the field. "In 2006, Jean-Pierre Bemba's victory was stolen, in 2011 Étienne Tshisekedi's victory was stolen".

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Spokesmen for Shadary and the other top opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, have indicated that their candidates won.

Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission on Thursday declared opposition leader Tshisekedi the victor of last month's chaotic presidential election, but the runner-up dismissed the outcome as an "electoral coup".

The son of Democratic Republic of Congo's veteran opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi has taken the prize that eluded his late father - the presidency.

South Africa urged the DRC to quickly certify the results and move past the election, while the European Union seems nervous about either endorsing or challenging the outcome. Fayulu has implied that the front knew Shadary was unlikely to win and so chose to promote Tshisekedi instead.

Among the challenges he would face is an Ebola outbreak in the east of the country.

Mineral-rich DRC has been in the grip of a two-year crisis over the succession of Kabila, who announced last year he would finally step down after almost two decades in power.

The delayed results come after worldwide pressure to announce an outcome that reflected the will of the people. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

Some Congolese tired of Kabila's 18-year rule, two turbulent years of election delays and years of conflict that killed millions of people said they simply wanted peace. The electoral commission on Sunday delayed it indefinitely.

In the city of Kikwit, 500 km (310 miles) from the capital Kinshasa, crowds of Fayulu supporters attacked symbols of government and clashed with security forces.

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