The commission declared opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, the official winner early on Thursday in what could lead to Congo’s first democratic transfer of power. But an observer mission from the Church’s bishops conference (CENCO) told diplomats that its own tallies showed another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu, winning. The contradictory views could lead to a bitter and drawn out standoff in a nation which was hoping to see its first successful democratic transition of power.
The discrepancy sets the stage for a possible stalemate between the Congolese government and the Church.
The powerful religious institution deployed 40,000 election observers and is considered one of Congo’s most influential and trusted institutions.
The election would be the nation’s first successful democratic exercise since it achieved independence from Belgium in 1960.
However election observers reported a number of irregularities during the polls and the opposition said it was marred by fraud.
Losing candidate businessman Mr Fayulu and ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary can contest the results.
In order to do so they must appeal to Congo’s constitutional court, which has 10 days to hear and rule on any challenges.
More to follow…