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AU urges the DRC to delay the election results



From the BBC
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The African Union (AU) has called on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) to postpone the announcement of the results of the presidential elections.

The Pan-African organization, which aims to promote unity and democracy, claims to have "serious doubts" about the provisional results released last week.

These figures have won the opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi but an opponent of the current administration, Martin Fayulu, insists that he has won.

The final results are scheduled for Friday.

Some questions have been raised about the accuracy of the results amid allegations that Mr. Tshisekedi is planning a power-sharing agreement with outgoing President Joseph Kabila.

A number of heads of state and government of the UA met Thursday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, and issued a statement on the much discussed vote on December 30th.

"There were serious doubts about the compliance of the provisional results, as proclaimed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, with the votes cast," it reads.

"As a result, the [AU] called for the suspension of the proclamation of the final results of the elections, "he added.

Fayulu claims that the temporary winner Mr Tshisekedi has signed an agreement with outgoing President Joseph Kabila.

Mr. Kabila has been in office for 18 years and the result, if confirmed, would create the first orderly transfer of power from independence from Belgium in 1960.

The electoral commission declared that Tshisekedi received 38.5% of the votes, compared to 34.7% of Mr. Fayulu. The candidate for the Emmanuel Shadary coalition took 23.8%.

Mr. Fayulu appealed to the Constitutional Court on Saturday asking for a manual recount of votes.

A verdict is expected as early as Friday, and experts say there are three possible results.

The court could confirm Mr. Tshisekedi's victory, order a new count, or cancel the results altogether and call new elections.

But the court has never overturned the results before, and some think that most of its judges are close to the ruling party.

The Tshisekedi statement as a winner was also challenged by the influential Catholic Church which claims to have deployed 40,000 election observers across the country.

Even international experts based in the United States and French and German governments have raised doubts.

Meanwhile, the UN says ethnic violence in the west of the country has killed at least 890 people in just three days last month.

Clashes between the communities of Banunu and Batende took place in four villages in Yumbi between 16 and 18 December, according to the UN Office of Human Rights.

The vote in the presidential elections was postponed to Yumbi because of violence.

Most of the population of the area has been displaced, including about 16,000 people who sought refuge crossing the Congo River in the neighboring Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville

About 465 homes and buildings have been burned or looted, including two primary schools, a health center and the office of the country's independent electoral commission, the UN said.


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