France calls for clarity on DR Congo vote as Tshisekedi declared victor

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After the Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission declared Tshisekedi the victor, the runner-up Martin Fayulu dismissed the outcome as an "electoral coup".

Correspondent|A Congo opposition party is calling its candidate the "presumed winner" of the presidential election and indicates that Felix Tshisekedi has had contact with departing President Joseph Kabila "to prepare a peaceful and civilized transfer of power".

It is not known when they will be made official.

"They have stolen the Congolese people's victory and the people will never accept that".

The church refused to name its "clear victor, " but diplomats briefed on its findings said opposition leader Martin Fayulu won easily and that other election observers showed similar results. Last week the bishops said their observations showed a clear victor - although they did not name Martin Fayulu, the other opposition frontrunner - as that candidate. Three diplomats briefed on the Church's mission said their findings clearly showed Fayulu had won.

Earlier Thursday Fayulu also expressed alarm at the results when he said an "electoral coup" had taken place.

"It really seems that the declared results... are not consistent with the true results", Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told CNews television.

Fayulu is backed by former Katanga governor Moise Katumbi, considered a traitor by Kabila, and ex-warlord and former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu wipes his face before speaking to the press at his headquarters in Kinshasa, Congo, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo is set to see its first handover of power in 18 years after opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was Thursday named by election officials as the provisional victor of an historic presidential poll.

Foreign leaders reacted cautiously to the outcome of DR Congo's presidential election Thursday (10 January), with many choosing not to congratulate the man declared victor and appealing for disputes to be settled peacefully.

It was not clear whether Fayulu would dispute the election results in court.

After an election that went ahead relatively peacefully, the outcome marks the first time in DRC's history since independence in 1960 that power will change hands through an electoral process.

The election's supervisors had faced mounting pressure at home and overseas to publish the results of the December 30 poll after repeated delays stoked fears for the giant country's stability. In a last-minute decision, some 1 million of the country's 40 million voters were barred from participating, with the electoral commission blaming a deadly Ebola virus outbreak.

Mineral-rich DRC has been in the grip of a two-year crisis over the succession of Kabila, who announced last year he would finally step down after almost two decades in power.

DR Congo's government cut internet services the day after the vote to prevent speculation on social media.

Police installed metal barriers and blocked traffic outside the electoral commission as it continued meetings that began late Tuesday.

In the city of Kikwit, 500 km (310 miles) from the capital Kinshasa, crowds of Fayulu supporters attacked symbols of government and clashed with security forces. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

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