Congo to release provisional results of disputed presidential vote

Congo releases provisional results in presidential election dispute

KINSHASA , Dec. 31 – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s election commission will release the full results of the presidential election held on Dec. 20, which the opposition demanded to be rerun due to widespread irregularities, they claim have enabled fraud.

A dispute has been sparked by a number of factors, including a delay in the election, an overrun on the day of the vote, and an unclear vote count. The country is roughly the same size as Western Europe, but it is the top producer of cobalt, among other industrial commodities.

The CENI has released a report in the last week that shows Felix Tshisekedi as having a huge lead over 18 of his challengers. More than 72% out of 17.8 million votes have been counted, of a total not yet specified.

CENI is scheduled to announce the full results of the presidential election at 1300 GMT.

Some of Tshisekedi’s main opponents, including the former oil executive Martin Fayulu have been of the Presidential and Legislative Elections, accusing CENI of allowing votes to be tipped towards the president.

These allegations have been  Independent observer groups have also warned that unscheduled extensions of voting on election day, and incidents during tabulation of results may have undermined the credibility and legal basis of the poll.

The joint voting monitoring mission of Congo’s powerful Catholic Church, and its Protestant Church, urged the CENI to only publish the results that are based on the correctly consolidated totals from local polling centers.

The law obliges the CENI, in order to increase transparency, to publish results by polling stations. This will allow the results to be easily checked and double-checked.

Moise Katumbi, the frontrunner of the opposition, has already ragainst the CENI results. He cited the alleged lack independence of state institutions. After police violently broke up a prohibited march on Wednesday, he has promised to continue protesting the results.

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