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DR Congo: Opposition presidential candidates reject election results of Tshisekedi victory

People wait to cast their ballots inside a polling station as voting continues, a day after the presidential elections in Kinshasa, DRC, Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023.   -  
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Mosa'ab Elshamy/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Democratic Republic Of Congo

A group of main opposition candidates in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC's presidential elections has rejected the results of the country's declaring victory for incumbent Felix Tshisekedi.

President Tshisekedi won about 73% of the vote, with his nearest challenger, Moise Katumbi, on 18%, according to the electoral commission CENI.

In their joint statement hours before the announcement, the nine opposition candidates pointed to irregularities observed before, during and after the voting process. They said the conduct violated the electoral law with the continuation of voting for six days, the existence of parallel polling stations and the control of voting machines by candidates they identify as having links with the current regime.

"We categorically reject this sham election," nine opposition candidates said in a joint statement on Sunday morning. "We call on our people, as soon as the electoral fraud is proclaimed, to protest massively in the streets", Martin Fayulu told the press.

These irregularities make the December 20 quadruple ballot a "farce" or "masquerade" according to the opposition statement. The Congolese government had previously rejected calls for a rerun of the elections. 

Nearly 44 million voters, out of a total population of around 100 million in the vast Central African country, were called to the polls to elect their president, as well as national and provincial deputies and, for the first time, local councillors.

The quadruple ballot was scheduled for December 20 but was extended for one day by the electoral commission in places where voting had failed to take place on polling day.

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