The constitutional court in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has upheld the victory of opposition presidential candidate Felix Tshisekedi. The court rejected an appeal by Martin Fayulu, another opposition contender in the 30 December poll.
The court said Mr Fayulu had failed to prove that the election commission had announced false results. It went on to declare “Felix Tshisekedi president of the Democratic Republic of Congo by simple majority”. He is now expected to be sworn in within 10 days.
The electoral commission earlier announced that Mr Tshisekedi had received 38.5% of the vote, compared with 34.7% for Mr Fayulu. Ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Shadary took 23.8%.
After the ruling, Mr Fayulu urged the international community not to recognise the election result. Despite the court ruling, Mr Fayulu said he was a “legitimate” president
In the verdict, the court also rejected a request to carry out a recount and declared Tshisekedi “President of the Democratic Republic of Congo by simple majority”.
Fayulu had denounced the figures and called the results as an “electoral coup,” which he said was forged by Tshisekedi and President Joseph Kabila. Fayulu then filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court.
Upon hearing the top court’s decision Fayulu remained defiant and declared himself president.
“The constitutional court has just confirmed that it serves a dictatorial regime … by validating false results, and enabling a constitutional coup d’etat,” he said in a statement.
“I ask the entire international community not to recognize a power that has neither legitimacy nor legal standing to represent the Congolese people,” he said of Tshisekedi, declaring himself “the only legitimate president”.
The ruling comes shortly after the African Union had asked Congo to delay announcing the final election results, casting “serious doubts” about the vote.
Hundreds of supporters of opposition leader Tshisekedi, the declared winner of the election, gathered outside the court holding placards saying “No to interference” and “Independent country” as riot police stood nearby.