The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) rebuked the African Union (AU) for its requests to suspend the announcement of the final results of its presidential elections, insisting that the Constitutional Court that assessed the legality of the vote was impartial.
The court will rule Friday on an appeal presented by Deputy Prime Minister Martin Fayulu – who claims to have been robbed of his victory in the December 30th elections.
"The court is independent," government spokesman Lambert Mende said. "I do not think it is the task of the government or even the African Union to tell the judge what he should do."
At a summit in Addis Ababa, the leaders of the UA announced yesterday that the Union will send envoys to Kinshasa in an attempt to end the crisis.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the UA commission, and the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, currently president of the UA, should be leaving on Monday.
The summit also said that there were "serious doubts" about the provisional results of the vote.
They called for the suspension of the final results – a question currently in the hands of the Constitutional Court, which must issue a ruling in view of the oath scheduled for the next president on Tuesday.
"I do not know if there are countries where people can interfere in this way in a legal procedure," Mende said.
"The court will do what is right to show the truth, we should all believe it."
On 10 January, the electoral commission declared the provisional leader of the opposition Felix Tshisekedi in the vote to choose a successor to the outgoing president Joseph Kabila – with 38.57 percent of the votes against 34.8 percent of Fayulu.
But Fayulu denounced the figures as an "electoral coup" forged by Tshisekedi and Kabila, and filed an appeal to the Constitutional Court the following day, claiming to have won 61 percent of the vote.
The Financial Times and other foreign media reported seeing documents confirming Fayulu as the winner.
"If the court declares winner Tshisekedi, the risk of isolation would be enormous and unsustainable for a country located in the middle of the continent," wrote Adeline Van Houtte of the Economist Intelligence Unit on Twitter.
The Fayulu camp has acclaimed the appeal of the AU for the final result to be put on hold, but the entourage of Tshisekedi has called it "scandalous".
His lawyer and deputy chief of staff, Peter Kazadi, denounced the appeal of the UA as "lacking a legal basis".
It was, he said, the result of the maneuver of "a small number of countries", which he has not named, and "shamed the institution" of the UA.
Fears of violence
The dispute raised fears that the political crisis, which began when Kabila refused to resign at the end of her constitutional mandate two years ago, could turn into a bloodbath.
The vast and chronically unstable country has experienced two regional wars in 1996-1997 and in 1998-2003, and the two previous elections, in 2006 and 2011, were the scene of bloody clashes.
Since the interim results were released on January 10, at least 34 people were killed, the UN said.
His rights office in the Congo also documented 59 injured and 241 "arbitrary arrests".