Newsdeck

France says DR Congo runner-up is apparent winner

By AFP 10 January 2019
Caption
The opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi, the leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party, shows his ballot as he votes in the general elections in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 30 December 2018. DR Congo went to the polls on 30 December where the ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a loyalist of outgoing president Joseph Kabila, is facing challenges by opposition leaders Martin Fayulu and Tshisekedi. More than 1 million voters are excluded from the polls after the decision to postpone the poll in three districts citing Ebola crisis and insecurity. EPA-EFE/STEFAN KLEINOWITZ

France on Thursday challenged the outcome of DR Congo's presidential election, saying the declared victory of opposition chief Felix Tshisekedi was "not consistent" with the results and that his rival Martin Fayulu appeared to have won. 

In remarks made just hours after the provisional results were announced, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Tshisekedi’s opposition rival Fayulu, who was declared the runner up, should have been declared the winner.

“It really seems that the declared results … are not consistent with the true results,” he told France’s CNews channel.

“On the face of it, Mr Fayulu was the leader coming out of these elections. ”

He said DR Congo’s powerful Catholic Church, which deployed more than 40,000 observers to monitor the elections, knew who had really won the vote with their observations suggesting a win for Fayulu.

“CENCO carried out an inspection and declared a result which was totally different,” he said, referring to the body representing the country’s Catholic bishops.

Last week, CENCO said it knew the outcome of the contested December 30 vote and urged the electoral commission to publish the results “in keeping with truth and justice”.

Although it did not name the winner, its announcement drew a sharp rebuke from the ruling coalition.

The provisional results were announced earlier on Thursday, putting Tshisekedi on course to take over as president, replacing Joseph Kabila who ruled the nation for nearly 18 years.

In a country which has never known a peaceful handover of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960, Le Drian called for calm.

“It is crucial to keep calm, to avoid confrontations and to ensure there is clarity about the results which are the opposite of what we expected, of what was projected,” he added. DM

Gallery

Are You A South AfriCAN or a South AfriCAN'T?

Maverick Insider is more than a reader revenue scheme. While not quite a "state of mind", it is a mindset: it's about believing that independent journalism makes a genuine difference to our country and it's about having the will to support that endeavour.

From the #GuptaLeaks into State Capture to the Scorpio exposés into SARS, Daily Maverick investigations have made an enormous impact on South Africa and it's political landscape. As we enter an election year, our mission to Defend Truth has never been more important. A free press is one of the essential lines of defence against election fraud; without it, national polls can turn very nasty, very quickly as we have seen recently in the Congo.

If you would like a practical, tangible way to make a difference in South Africa consider signing up to become a Maverick Insider. You choose how much to contribute and how often (monthly or annually) and in exchange, you will receive a host of awesome benefits. The greatest benefit of all (besides inner peace)? Making a real difference to a country that needs your support.


ANALYSIS

SONA2019: Ramaphosa uses his reply to answer internal critics over Eskom restructuring

By Marianne Merten