DR Congo: Opposition candidate petitions court to challenge Felix Tshisekedi’s victory

An opposition candidate in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has filed a petition before the Constitutional Court against the victory of Félix Tshisekedi’s in the country’s presidential election.

According to provisional figures from the electoral commission,(CENI) incumbent President Félix Tshisekedi won the election with over 73% of the vote, ahead of the other 25 candidates.

Théodore Ngoy, who came last in the presidential election filed the petition just before the expiration of its deadline. He is credited by the Céni with 0.02% of the vote and 4,139 votes. 

Ngoy was part of disappointed candidates who had two days to lodge appeals. The deadline expired Wednesday evening, and only one candidate finally appealed to the Constitutional Court. The Court now has seven days to examine this appeal and give its decision.

The opposition who have described the election as a sham say they they have no confidence in the court or Ceni, which they argue is subservient to the government. Ngoy, a lawyer, professor and pastor who already ran before in the 2018 presidential election wants the election annulled.

“I thought that the harm done to democracy, human rights and the rule of law should not be confirmed by the Court without the Céni having to justify itself”, he told RFI. 

The DRC’s Constitutional Court is expected to confirm the provisional results on January 10. Tshisekedi, 60, first came to power in January 2019 after a disputed election that many observers said he had in fact lost.

Martin Fayulu — who says he was robbed of the last presidential election in 2018 — also contested this year’s poll but in the end won about five percent of the votes.

The 20 remaining candidates, including Denis Mukwege, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with female victims of wartime sexual violence, polled around one percent or less.

Fearing unrest over the poll results, Congolese authorities say they have stepped up security to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

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