Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo | AFP | The Supreme Court of the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared that it will give its verdict on Saturday the results of the final elections that have been contested both internationally and at home, rejecting an appeal by the African Union to suspend the announcement.
The Constitutional Court has urgently launched an appeal on the outcome of the December 30 vote to choose a successor to long-standing President Joseph Kabila, with second-placed Martin Fayulu claiming to have been robbed of victory – a statement repeated elsewhere.
"This (the ruling) will take place today at 15:00 (1400 GMT)," Constitutional court spokesman Baudouin Mwehu told AFP.
Hundreds of supporters of opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, declared the winner of the elections, gathered outside the court with signs saying "No to interference" and "Independent country" while riot police were nearby.
On 10 January, the electoral commission declared that Tshisekedi won provisionally with 38.57% of the vote against 34.8% of Fayulu.
But Fayulu denounced the figures as an "electoral coup" forged by Tshisekedi and Kabila and appealed to the Constitutional Court.
– "They are not their business" –
At a Thursday summit, the leaders of the UA said that there were "serious doubts" about the provisional results of the vote and called for the suspension of the final results.
But the spokesperson of the Democratic Republic of Congo government, Lambert Mende, had snubbed the question of the UA saying: "I do not think it is the duty of the government or even the African Union to tell the court what it should do."
The AU also announced that the head of the commission Moussa Faki Mahamat and Rwanda president Paul Kagame, currently president of the UA, should have flown to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Monday.
The European Union said it had joined the AU by inviting "all the Congolese people to work constructively with this delegation (AU) to find a post-electoral solution that respects the vote of the Congolese people".
The court is required to give a ruling before the expected next president's oath on Tuesday.
– Appeal –
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 had accepted the appeal of the AU for the fact that the final result was put on hold, but the entourage of Tshisekedi labeled it as "outrageous".
The dispute raised the fear that the political crisis that began two years ago when Kabila refused to resign at the end of her constitutional mandate could turn into a bloodbath.
The vast and chronically unstable country lived through two regional wars in 1996-97 and 1998-2003, and the two previous elections, in 2006 and 2011, were marked by bloody clashes.
The African Union has taken the strongest line of all the major international organizations regarding the post-electoral crisis.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a block that includes Angola and South Africa, initially called for a new count and a unity government.
But in a subsequent press release, he did not mention these requests, instead calling on Congolese politicians to "deal with any electoral complaints in line with the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the relevant electoral laws".
Kagame's visit as part of the UA delegation could complicate matters, analysts say.
Rwanda has supported the extermination of the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997 from Kabila's father, Laurent-Desire Kabila, but then he changed his allies. Sporadic clashes occurred last year on the border between the two neighbors. Marthe