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The Democratic Republic of the Congo rejects the request of the UA to suspend the result of the final vote

The Democratic Republic of the Congo rejects the request of the UA to suspend the result of the final vote

A statue of the former president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Laurent-Desire Kabila, was seen during the commemorations of the 18th anniversary of his assassination on January 16, 2019 in Kinshasa. (John WESSELS / AFP)

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(AFP) – DR Congo he rebuked the African Union on Friday for having called for a suspension of the announcement of the final results of the presidential elections, insisting that the Constitutional Court that assessed the legality of the vote was impartial.

The court is urgently hearing 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.

"The court is independent, both we and the African Union," 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 they would 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.

African leaders have said that there are "serious doubts" about the provisional results of the vote.

They demanded the cancellation 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 Tuesday.

Mende said bluntly: "I do not know if there are countries where people can interfere in a legal procedure.

"The court will do what is right to show the truth, we should all believe it," he said.

In a statement the European Union said it had joined the AU by inviting "all the Congolese subjects to work constructively with this delegation (AU) to find a post-electoral solution that respects the Congolese people's vote" .

– Appeal –

On 10 January, the electoral commission declared temporary winner of the opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi with 38.57% of the vote against 34.8% of Fayulu.

But Fayulu, who hailed the position of the UA, denounced the figures as an "electoral coup" forged by Tshisekedi and Kabila, and appealed to the Constitutional Court the following day.

He claims to have won with 61 percent of the votes.

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 UA for the final result to be put on hold, but Tshisekedi's entourage has called it "scandalous".

And his lawyer and deputy chief of staff Peter Kazadi denounced the appeal of the UA as "without legal basis".

It was, he said, the result of the maneuver of "a small number of countries", which has not named and "shamed the institution" of the UA.

– Fears of violence –

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 Democratic Republic of CongoThe Constitution 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.

"I doubt Kagame's credibility, given his qualities as a democrat," said Kazadi.

© Agence France-Presse

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