The Latest: Congo runner-up asks court to order vote recount

The Latest: Congo runner-up asks court to order vote recount

byAssociated Press

(AP) — The Latest on Congo’s presidential election (all times local):

3:10 p.m.

Congo presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu confirms that he has filed a court challenge to the election results asking for a recount.

The constitutional court has seven days to consider it.

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

Fayulu tells reporters the court challenge includes election results forms posted outside Congo’s polling stations.

He says “you can’t manufacture results behind closed doors.”

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2:55 p.m.

Congo presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu has arrived at the constitutional court to file a challenge to the election results, 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.

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

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

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1:15 p.m.

Members of Congo’s Republican Guard have deployed outside the home of presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu and outside the court where he is expected to file a challenge to the vote results.

Their presence comes as Fayulu calls for a manual recount of the vote in all three of Congo’s Dec. 30 elections: presidential, legislative and provincial. He alleges they are “fabricated.”

The electoral commission has said the ruling coalition of President Joseph Kabila won a majority of the national assembly seats and provincial ones, but that opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi won the presidential vote.

Fayulu alleges a backroom deal between Tshisekedi and Kabila as the ruling party’s presidential candidate did poorly.

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11:35 a.m.

The runner-up in Congo’s presidential election is calling for a manual recount of results in the presidential, national assembly and provincial votes.

Martin Fayulu in a post on Twitter alleges that the results announced in all three by Congo’s electoral commission are “fabricated.” The commission has said the ruling coalition of President Joseph Kabila won a majority of the national assembly seats and provincial ones.

Fayulu on Saturday is expected to file a court challenge to the official presidential results, which show that rival opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi won. Fayulu alleges a backroom deal between Tshisekedi and Kabila as the ruling party’s presidential candidate did poorly.

Fayulu’s coalition asserts he won 61 percent of the vote according to the Catholic Church’s 40,000 election observers across the country. The church has said its findings show a different winner than the one officially declared.

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8:35 a.m.

The ruling coalition of Congo’s outgoing President Joseph Kabila has won a large majority of seats in the national assembly. The electoral commission announced the results early Saturday.

That sharply reduces the chances of dramatic reforms under the declared presidential election winner, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi. The election runner-up accuses Tshisekedi of a backroom deal with Kabila to win power.

The runner-up, businessman and anti-corruption campaigner Martin Fayulu, has said he will file a court challenge to the election results on Saturday morning.

His opposition coalition says Fayulu won 61 percent of the vote, citing figures compiled by the influential Catholic Church’s election observers. The coalition says the figures show Tshieskedi received 18 percent.

The electoral commission says the date for the presidential inauguration is Jan. 22.

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