Democratic Republic of Congo’s President-elect Felix Tshisekedi on Thursday pledged to be president for all Congolese.
He was declared winner of the closely contested presidential election on Wednesday by officials of the electoral commission.
But his victory which came as a shock to many is being challenged by rival candidates.
Mr Tshisekedi said shortly after victory declaration that he would strive to unite the country on a common goal of development in prosperity.
“I will not be the president of a political organization… I will not be the president of a tribe… I will be president of all Congolese,” Mr Tshisekedi said.
The son of late opposition figure Etienne Tshisekedi was speaking to jubilant supporters in the capital Kinshasa.
And in video pic.twitter.com/cHtKhH0n2q
— Fergal Keane (@fergalkeane47) January 10, 2019
Dispute over provisional results
According to provisional results, Tshisekedi secured over 7 million votes, while Fayulu had 6.4 million votes.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) said the ruling coalition’s candidate Mr Shadary secured 4.4 million votes.
Runner-up Fayulu has dismissed the results of the election, claiming that the results had been forged.
He told DW that he “cannot accept that the wishes of the people will not be respected.”
“That is why we stand together and say “no” to the lie of Mr Nangaa [the chairman of the election commission who announced the results], “no” to the falsification of the election results and “no” to the election robbery,” he said.
France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was the first foreign political leader to call for transparency—as the Catholic Church denounced the result.
According to the church, the result did not match data collected by its election monitors.
“We must have clarity on these results, which are the opposite to what we expected,” Le Drian told French broadcaster CNews.
important intervention from Congo’s powerful Catholic Church, they say the declared results are not consistent with the Church’s count. They call for people to avoid violence. #DRCElections pic.twitter.com/MoBQGYaQh1
— Piers Scholfield (@inglesi) January 10, 2019
Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders also questioned the results, saying Belgium would use its temporary seat on the UN Security Council to seek clarification about Tshisekedi’s win.
“We have some doubts that we need to check and which will be debated in the coming days in the Security Council,” Reynders, whose country was Congo’s former colonial power, told Belgian public broadcaster RTBF.
Based on the provisional results Mr. Tshisekedi will be the first opposition candidate to win such a vote since DR Congo gained independence.
Felix Tshisekedi refused to back Fayulu ahead of the election after withdrawing from an agreement to back the opposition coalition’s candidate.
He will now replace President Joseph Kabila who had been in power for 18 years. President Joseph Kabila did not take part in the December 30 election.
Kabila took over as president from his father Laurent who was assassinated in 2001. He frustrated the holding of the election which had to be delayed for several years.
Tshisekedi paid a glowing tribute to outgoing President Joseph Kabila, describing him as “an important political partner”.
The publication of provisional results was first delayed on Sunday raising tension in the country.
Representatives of Felix Tshisekedi said this week that they met with outgoing President Joseph Kabila’s camp to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.