Opposition candidate wins presidential election in Congo

Opposition candidate wins presidential election in Congo

- Opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, has been announced as the winner of the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo

- The head of the electoral commission announced that Tshisekedi had won with 38.57 percent of more than 18 million ballots cast

- The swearing-in of the new president is planned for January 18 and losing candidates can contest the results before the country's constitutional court in the coming days

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s electoral commission has declared Felix Tshisekedi as the winner of the country's long-delayed elections.

According to Al-Jazeera, the result was announced in the early hours of Thursday, January 10.

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Legit.ng gathers that it was, however, rejected by rival Martin Fayulu, who had the backing of opposition heavyweights and had led in polling prior to the December 30 vote.

The head of the electoral commission, Corneille Nangaa, announced at a 3am (02:00 GMT) news conference, that Tshisekedi had won with 38.57 percent of more than 18 million ballots cast.

He said Fayulu had received 6.4 million votes, which was seven million less than Tshisekedi, while the hand-picked candidate of long-time President Joseph Kabila, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, came in third with about 4.4 million votes.

The announcement came hours after riot police were deployed at the commission's headquarters in Kinshasa, amid fears of violence due to a disputed result.

According to election observers, a number of irregularities had taken place during the elections which the opposition also alleged was marred by fraudulent practices.

With Kabila due to leave office in January 2019 after 18 years in power - and two years after the official end of his mandate - the result could lead to the vast country's first democratic transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

The swearing-in of the new president is planned for January 18 and losing candidates can contest the results before the country's constitutional court in the coming days.

The result is, however, expected to fuel further suspicion that Tshisekedi struck a power-sharing pact with Kabila, whose government, according to observers, sought to make a deal as hopes faded for a win for Shadary.

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Legit.ng previously reported that in a bid to prevent social media speculations about presidential election results, the government of Congo shut down internet across the Central African country.

The decision was taken by the government following malfunction of machines and other problems during the election, which was held on Sunday, December 30, 2018.

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Source: Legit

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