KINSHASHA – DR Congo’s Constitutional Court will be opening doors Tuesday 15 for the hearing of an appeal against presidential election results that saw the opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi winner.
“The Constitutional Court will start examining the appeal by Martin Fayulu tomorrow, from 9.30am,” press officer Baudouin Mwehu said on Monday.
Congo conducted its presidential elections December 30 last year and according to the country’s electoral body, Tshisekedi was chosen a successor to President Joseph Kabila who had stayed in power for the last 18 years.
According to Martin Fayulu who was declared the second, the results released last Thursday, which are provisional, were an “electoral coup” and he demands a recount.
Tshisekedi was credited with 38.57 percent of the vote, against 34.8 percent for Fayulu.
Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, the candidate backed by Kabila, came a distant third with 23.8 percent.
Fayulu filed his appeal on Friday and the court has a week to study the request before giving its ruling.
According to Corneille Nangaa, the head of the Independent National Election Commission (CENI), the new president is scheduled to be sworn in on January 22.
On Sunday, Southern African Development Community (SADC), a bloc that includes Angola and South Africa, called for a unity government and urged a recount to “provide the necessary reassurance to both winners and losers.”
The country’s long-running political crisis erupted two years ago when Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional term in office, sparking protests which were brutally repressed.
The vast, unstable country has never had a peaceful transition of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.
It became a battlefield for two regional wars in 1996-7 and 1998-2003, and the last two presidential elections, in 2006 and 2011, were marked by bloody clashes.
The influential Roman Catholic Church, which says it deployed 40,000 observers to monitor the poll, has also dismissed the official outcome as not reflecting the true result, however, it has held back from saying who, in its opinion, was the victor.