NAIROBI, KENYA – DR Congo leading opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu has warned election officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo not to “disguise the truth” as tensions mount over the delayed result.
Mr. Fayulu maintained that the “Congolese people already know” the result of the vote, which took place on 30 December.
A local observer group said it had witnessed “major” irregularities at counting stations.
Outgoing President Joseph Kabila, who assumed office after the assassination of his father, former President Laurent Kabila, is due to step down after 18 years in office.
The election outcome was initially expected to be announced on Sunday – and results are now expected later Wednesday.
According to the BBC and several international groups, riot police have been deployed in the capital, Kinshasa, and access to the offices of the election commission has been blocked.
Amid growing concerns that violence could break out, Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, met to discuss the situation.
Both leaders urged the electoral commission to release the results fast to avoid suspicions and instability.
According to political analysts, South Africa is a crucial ally of Mr. Kabila, while Zambia hosts more than 60,000 refugees who have fled conflict in DR Congo.
Corneille Nangaa, the head of the electoral commission earlier said that the results from several polling stations still needed to be counted without providing any date.
“It is a huge task that we can’t finish in just a few hours,” he told AFP news agency.
After the commission announces the result, losing candidates will be able to file challenges. The Constitutional Court would make a final ruling on the outcome within nine days of the commission’s announcement.
Meanwhile, election observer group Symocel said there had been 52 “major” irregularities during the voting, including people tampering with results, in the 101 vote counting centers it had monitored.
There are 179 counting centers in DR Congo, which is about the size of Western Europe.
Symocel contended that 92% of counting centers observed had not posted vote tally sheets outside, and 16% of the centers had relied on tallies transmitted by voting machines instead of hand-counted tallies. This was in breach of the law, the group said.