Release of DRC presidential election results to be delayed

Corneille Nangaa Yobeluo

Corneille Nangaa Yobeluo

Kabila was due to step down two years ago, but clung on to power, sparking widespread protests which were brutally repressed, killing dozens.

The postponement in announcing the results is expected to increase tensions in Congo.

Congo's Catholic church body CENCO has said it identified the victor based on its own tallies collected by 40,000 observers, though it did not name the winner.

In a Facebook post on Sunday morning, Chamisa challenges the commission in the DRC not to emulate acts of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, ZEC, which he accuses of rigging last year's elections against him.

The electoral commission chief urged people to "remain patient" while it continued to collate results.

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Among the frontrunners were Kabila's handpicked successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary and two opposition candidates: veteran heavyweight Felix Tshisekedi and newcomer Martin Fayulu. Ahead of the vote, the US ordered non-emergency government employees and family members to leave the country. His campaign manager, Pierre Lumbi, on Saturday accused the electoral commission of being "in the process of postponing the publication of the results". In a letter to Congress, Trump said the troops were sent in response to "the possibility that violent demonstrations may occur" in reaction to the outcome.

At stake is the political stewardship of a mineral-rich country that has never known a peaceful transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

Kabila, who took office in 2001 after his father was assassinated, is constitutionally barred from serving three consecutive terms but has hinted he may run again in 2023.

The government has already cut internet access across the vast Central African country to prevent any speculation on social media about who might have won the election. That has led many Congolese to suspect he will rule from the shadows if Shadary takes office.

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