Challenge to election result rejected by Congo court

Source:AFP Published: 2019/1/20 22:18:41

Congo's top court confirmed Felix Tshisekedi's contested presidential election win on Sunday, drawing a rebuke from the second-placed candidate who declared himself leader and called for demonstrations.

As Tshisekedi's supporters celebrated in the streets of Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, runner-up Martin Fayulu said the ruling had opened the way to a "constitutional coup d'etat," raising fears of more violence.

Last month's delayed vote was meant to mark the first democratic transfer of power in the vast central African country.

But monitors have pointed to major flaws. Unrest over the vote has already killed 34 people, wounded 59 and led to 241 "arbitrary arrests" in the past week, according to the U.N. human rights office.

In the early hours of Sunday, the Constitutional Court ruled that a legal challenge to the result filed by Fayulu was inadmissible. "Felix Tshisekedi will become the fifth president of the republic," government spokesman Lambert Mende said as he welcomed the judgement.

Fayulu issued statements dismissing the ruling. "The constitutional court has just confirmed that it serves a dictatorial regime ... by validating false results, (and enabling) a constitutional coup d'etat," he said in one.

"I am now considering myself as the sole legitimate President of the Democratic Republic of Congo," he added in another statement. He called for people to mount peaceful demonstrations across the country.

Posted in: AFRICA

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