Outgoing Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila’s ruling coalition has won a majority in legislative elections, a coalition official says.
This is despite opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi’s win in the presidential vote the same day, fuelling suspicion that his victory came through a backroom deal that will preserve Kabila’s influence.
Lawyers for the runner-up in the presidential election, Martin Fayulu, were on their way to Congo’s highest court on Saturday to file a fraud complaint, claiming he won in a landslide with more than 60 per cent of the votes.
But late in the morning, about 50 Republican Guard soldiers and police officers surrounded his residence, sending dozens of his supporters fleeing inside.
Tshisekedi’s camp denies that there was any deal with Kabila and says meetings it held with the president’s representatives after the election were meant solely to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.
In a tweet on Saturday, Fayulu wrote that the results “were invented out of whole cloth. I demand a hand recount of all votes for the three elections (presidential, national legislative and provincial)”.
The disputed outcome threatens to reawaken violence in the huge and tumultuous central African country where millions have died during civil wars since the 1990s.
Security forces killed dozens who protested at Kabila’s refusal to step down when his official mandate expired in 2016.