Opposition candidate petitions court over DR Congo election results

A presidential candidate who finished last in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s election has filed a petition with the Constitutional Court, challenging the re-election of President Félix Tshisekedi.

DR Congo elections
Photo courtesy: MONUSCO / Flickr

The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has received a petition challenging the outcome of the country’s presidential election. The petition was filed by an opposition candidate who came last in the race.

The electoral commission (CENI) announced that President Félix Tshisekedi secured a second term with more than 73% of the vote, beating the other 25 contenders.

The petitioner, Théodore Ngoy, who got 0.02% of the vote and 4,139 ballots, submitted his appeal just before the deadline. He was among the dissatisfied candidates who had 48 hours to file complaints. He was the only one who appealed to the Constitutional Court, which has a week to review his case and deliver its verdict.

The opposition, which denounced the election as a fraud, said they did not trust the court or the CENI, which they claimed were loyal to the regime. Ngoy, a lawyer, professor and pastor who also ran in the 2018 presidential election, demanded the cancellation of the election.

He told RFI that he did not want the court to endorse the damage done to democracy, human rights and the rule of law without the CENI having to account for its actions.

The Constitutional Court is expected to ratify the provisional results on January 10. Tshisekedi, 60, became president in January 2019 after a controversial election that many observers said he had actually lost.

Martin Fayulu, who claimed he was cheated out of the 2018 presidential election, also ran this year but only got about five percent of the votes.

The other 20 candidates, including Denis Mukwege, who received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with women who suffered sexual violence during the war, got around one percent or less.

Congolese authorities said they had increased security measures to avoid violence over the election results.

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