Congo coali­tion Wins ma­jor­ity

Ka­bi­lais­due­tostep­down­inthe­com­ing­daysin­what­was meant to be Congo’s first demo­cratic trans­fer of power.

The Sunday Guardian - - WORLD - STANIS BUJAKERA KIN­SHASA REUTERS

Out­go­ing Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo Pres­i­dent Joseph Ka­bila’s rul­ing coali­tion won a ma­jor­ity in leg­isla­tive elections, a coali­tion of­fi­cial said on Satur­day, de­spite opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi’s win in the pres­i­den­tial vote the same day.

The re­sult will un­der­cut Tshisekedi’s abil­ity to de­liver on cam­paign prom­ises to make a break with the 18-year Ka­bila era and fuel sus­pi­cion that his vic­tory, an­nounced on Thurs­day, came through a back­room deal that will pre­serve Ka­bila’s in­flu­ence over im­por­tant min­istries and the se­cu­rity forces.

Ka­bila is due to step down in the com­ing days in what was meant to be Congo’s first demo­cratic trans­fer of power in 59 years of in­de­pen­dence. But he has sig­nalled he in­tends to re­main in­volved in pol­i­tics and might run for pres­i­dent in 2023 when term lim­its no longer ap­ply.

The run­ner-up in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Martin Fayulu, filed a fraud com­plaint on Satur­day with Congo’s high­est court to chal­lenge the re­sult, a cam­paign spokes­woman, said Eve Baza­iba. Fayulu says he won in a land­slide in the 30 De­cem­ber bal­lot with more than 60% of votes and ac­cuses Tshisekedi of strik­ing a deal with Ka­bila to be declared the win­ner.

Tshisekedi’s camp de­nies that there was any deal with Ka­bila and says meetings it held with the pres­i­dent’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives after the elec­tion were meant solely to en­sure a peace­ful trans­fer of power.

The dis­puted out­come threat­ens to reawaken vi­o­lence in the huge and tu­mul­tuous cen­tral African coun­try where mil­lions have died dur­ing civil wars since the 1990s.

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