The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) electoral crisis worsened at the start of Sunday when the Constitutional Court upheld Felix Tshisekedi's victory, rejecting allegations of fraud, and second place Martin Fayulu immediately declared "l & # 39; The only legitimate president "of the country.
Fayulu supporters supported an extraordinary behind-the-scenes deal by outgoing President Joseph Kabila to vote for opposition after the ruling party's candidate hurt so much that a plan was needed. Neither of the two parties acknowledged the allegations.
The court, however, said that Fayulu offered no evidence to support his claims that he would easily win on the leaked data attributed to the electoral commission.
& # 39; Constitutional coup d'etat & # 39;
Fayulu urged the Congolese to take to the streets to peacefully protest what he called a "constitutional coup", accusing the court of having validated false results. "It's no secret … that you elected me president," he said.
"I consider myself the only legitimate president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, I ask the Congolese people not to recognize someone who will assume that role illegitimately, nor to obey the orders that come from him," he said.
Neither the Congolese nor the international community should recognize Tshisekedi, nor obey him, added Fayulu.
Tshisekedi said that soon the decision of the Constitutional Court to confirm it as the winner of the presidential elections was a victory for the whole country.
"It's the Congo that wins," Tshisekedi said, speaking to his supporters after the court's decision.
"It is not the victory of one camp against another: I am engaged in a campaign to reconcile all the Congolese … The Congo we are about to form will not be a Congo of division, hatred or tribalism Congo reconciled, a strong Congo that focus on development, peace and security ".
Tshisekedi, largely untried, son of the late leader of the Etienne opposition, will be inaugurated on Tuesday. His supporters who had gathered outside the court applauded.
"It's a pity that Mr. Fayulu wants to remain isolated," Tshisekedi's spokesman, Vidiye Tshimanga, told The Associated Press. He said the two men had been part of an opposition coalition demanding that Kabila resign.
The new president will need everyone to rebuild the country, said Tshimanga, because the Congolese people have "suffered a lot in recent years".
Pierre Englebert, professor of international relations at Pomona College, told Al Jazeera that the court decision is not "surprising".
"The court is widely regarded as populated by judges loyal to the president," he said.
The court's declaration came shortly after the African Union, in an unprecedented move, asked the Democratic Republic of the Congo to delay the announcement of the final results of the elections, citing "serious doubts" about the vote.
He plans to send a high-level delegation on Monday to find a way out of the crisis, fearing that unrest will unleash across the borders of the vast Central African nation.
The Government of the Congo replied that it was the jurisdiction of the courts.
The court rejected Fayulu's request for a recount in the December 30 vote.
Government spokesman Lambert Mende quickly recognized the court's decision, congratulating Tshisekedi as the fifth president of the Congo.
"When you think about it, the splendor of the disposition that now have the supporters of the president, of Kabila himself, and the supporters of Tshisekedi are in favor of the decision, and therefore we spread the opposition," Englebert said.
Fears of disorders
The country of 80 million people, rich in key minerals for smartphones around the world, is getting closer to achieving its first peaceful and democratic transfer of power from independence in 1960.
But observers have warned that court retention of official results could lead to further unrest.
"I do not know what the priest will say [in Sunday mass]and I do not know what will come out of it, but I could imagine that there could be significant protests. Even if they wanted to be peaceful, the regime has a strong repressive capacity and could easily slip into a violent result, "Englebert said.
At least 34 people have been killed since provisional results were released on January 10, the UN reported.
The court could have ordered a new count or ordered a new election.
He called the challenge presented by another candidate, Theodore Ngoy, unfounded, who challenged the last-minute decision of the electoral commission to block around 1 million voters from the election for an epidemic of a deadly Ebola virus.
The court said that Tshisekedi won with over 7 million votes, or 38%, and Fayulu received 34%. However, leaked data published by some media, attributed to the electoral commission and representing 86% of the votes, show that Fayulu gained 59% while Tshisekedi received 19%.
Fayulu, a lawmaker and business man who speaks openly about cleaning up the sprawling corruption of the Congo, is seen as a threat to Kabila, his allies and the vast wealth they have accumulated.
All election results, not just presidential ones, were widely questioned after the Kabila government coalition won a majority in legislative and provincial elections while its presidential candidate ended a distant third.
The elections in Congo were scheduled for the end of 2016 and many Congolese were worried that Kabila, in power since 2001, was looking for a way to remain in office. Avoiding serving three consecutive terms, Kabila has already hinted that he could run again in 2023.
After Tshisekedi was announced as the surprise winner in the tentative results of January 10, some Congolese tired of unrest seemed to decide that replacing Kabila with an opposition figure was sufficient, despite the questions about the vote.
Reflecting the desire for stability, 33 non-governmental Congolese groups and civil society movements on Thursday called for people to comply with any court regulation to "preserve peace".
With this perhaps in mind, Tshisekedi's party abruptly refused the intervention attempt of the AU.
The position of the continental body is "the work of some mining lobbies who seek to destabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to perpetuate the looting of this country," said party secretary general Jean-Marc Kabund.
In view of the court's ruling, hundreds of Tshisekedi supporters were in the streets of the capital, Kinshasa, waving branches of trees and banners with the inscription "Congo for the Congolese".