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Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, DRC's declared winner Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, DRC's declared winner  (AFP or licensors)

DR Congo Results: Neither true nor just says CENCO

With provisional results announced and opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, declared winner of DRC's presidential vote, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo, CENCO, has said that the "the provisional results did not correspond to the data collected by observers of the Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

Africa Service – Vatican City

DRC‘s election runner-up, opposition leader Martin Fayulu who was widely expected to win the vote described Tshisekedi’s victory as an 'electoral coup.'

The DRC remained mostly quiet since the announcement of a provisional winner. There were no significant protests in the capital, Kinshasa. Limited violence and some deaths were, however, reported elsewhere in the vast Central African country.

An uneasy calm

Tshisekedi supporters took to the streets to celebrate. Elsewhere was a sense of dismay coupled perhaps with a sense of pragmatism. To some, a Tshisekedi win is still better than a victory for the Government’s candidate, Shadary. Nonetheless, there is still tension in the air, and a Constitutional challenge to the results could change the uneasy calm.

On Thursday night, Vatican News’ French Africa Service spoke with the Secretary-General of CENCO, Fr. Donatien Nshole.

"We note that the results of the presidential election as published by the National Independent Electoral Commission do not match the data collected by our observation mission from the polling and counting stations," Fr. Nshole told Vatican News.

CENCO urges citizens to show civic maturity

The Congolese Bishops Conference fearing widespread violence and repression and also because the law does not allow them to do so, has refused to say publicly who won according to its findings. Fr. Nshole instead urged Congolese citizens to "show civic maturity" and especially "avoid the use of violence."

He said, "In the event of a possible challenge to the provisional results by a party, we urge it to use legal means by the Constitution and the electoral law. CENCO opts for a peaceful procedure to challenge these provisional results. She invokes "Christ, Prince of Peace," so that He "illuminates the spirits and accompanies the country in this election period," Fr. Nshole said.

If all goes well, DRC’s outcome of this election could be the first electoral transfer of power in 59 years since its independence.

(Additional reporting AP)

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11 January 2019, 12:19