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UN chief calls for restraint amid disputes over election results in DR Congo

UNITED NATIONS––United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on late Wednesday called on the stakeholders in the recent presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) to refrain from violence as disputes emerged over the results of the elections.

“The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms in line with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Constitution and relevant electoral laws,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary-general, said in a statement.

The presidential election in DR Congo was held on Dec. 30 after delays due to political disputes. Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was proclaimed the winner by the electoral commission on early Thursday morning local time based on the interim results.

According to the electoral commission, Tshisekedi, candidate of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), has collected more than 7 million votes across the country, with the exception of three cities where polls were not conducted for safety reasons.

However, the runner-up, Martin Fayulu of the “Lamuka” coalition, denounced the results as an “electoral coup” on Thursday.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday also questioned the results of the election, saying that Tshisekedi’s victory did not accord with what was seen on the ground.

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Ben Mabande

Ben Mabande is a researcher and senior contributing reporter with Globe Afrique Media.

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