Congo runner-up in presidential vote asks court to order vote recount

Congo presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu has confirmed he has filed a court challenge to the election results, asking for a recount and alleging fraud.

Martin Fayulu challenges election result, saying he won 61% of vote

Martin Fayulu, runner-up in Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election, arrives to deliver his appeal contesting the Congo's National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) results of the presidential election at the constitutional court in Kinshasa on Saturday. (Olivia Acland/Reuters )

Congo presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu has confirmed he has filed a court challenge to the election results, asking for a recount and alleging fraud.

The constitutional court has seven days to consider the challenge.

Fayulu has alleged a backroom deal between the declared winner, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, and President Joseph Kabila.

"You can't manufacture results behind closed doors," he told reporters on Saturday.

Kabila is due to step down in the coming days after 18 years in power, in what was meant to be Congo's first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence. But he has 
signaled he intends to remain involved in politics and might run for president in 2023 when term limits no longer apply.

Fayulu's coalition asserts he won with 61 per cent of the vote, according to the Catholic Church's 40,000 election observers across the country. Congo's electoral commission says he received 34 per cent and Tshisekedi 38 per cent.

The commission's president has said there are two options: The official results are accepted or the election is annulled.

Felix Tshisekedi, who was believed to be the favourite candidate of outgoing Congolese President Joseph Kabila, was declared he winner of Congo's Dec. 30 election. (Luis Tato/AFP/Getty Images)

Fayulu has called for a manual recount of the vote in all three of Congo's Dec. 30 elections: presidential, legislative and provincial. He alleges in a Twitter post that the results were "fabricated."

The electoral commission has said the ruling coalition of President Joseph Kabila won a majority of the national assembly seats and provincial ones.

The commission announced those results early Saturday and results for the presidential campaign on Thursday. It said the date for the presidential inauguration is Jan. 22.

Fayulu, a former Exxon manager and Kinshasa legislator, was a vocal activist during the turbulent delay in Congo's election, insisting it was time for Kabila to go. Many feared the president would find a way to stay in office and protect his vast assets obtained from Congo's staggering mineral wealth.

Fayulu was backed by two popular opposition leaders barred by the government from running.


With files from Reuters