‘I will not let the people down’
Congo’s presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu has asked the constitutional court to order a recount in the disputed election, declaring yesterday that ‘‘you can’t manufacture results behind closed doors.’’
He could be risking more than the court’s refusal. Congo’s electoral commission president Corneille Nangaa has said there are only two options: The official results are accepted or the vote is annulled – which would keep President Joseph Kabila in power until another election. The December 30 one came after two years of delays.
‘‘They call me the people’s soldier ... and I will not let the people down,’’ Fayulu said. Evidence from witnesses at polling stations across the country is being submitted to the court, which is full of Kabila appointees.
Rifle-carrying members of Kabila’s Republican Guard deployed outside Fayulu’s home and the court earlier yesterday. It was an attempt to stop him from filing, Fayulu said while posting a video of them on Twitter: ‘‘The fear remains in their camp.’’
Fayulu has accused the declared winner, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, of a backroom deal with Kabila to win power in the mineral-rich nation as the ruling party candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, did poorly.
The opposition coalition for Fayulu, a businessman vocal about cleaning up widespread corruption, has said he won 61 per cent of the vote, citing figures compiled by the Catholic Church’s 40,000 election observers across the vast Central African country.
Those figures show Tshieskedi received 18 per cent, the coalition said.
The church, the rare authority that many Congolese find trustworthy, has urged the electoral commission to release its detailed vote results for public scrutiny. Congolese now face the extraordinary situation of a presidential vote allegedly rigged in favour of the opposition. ‘‘This is more than an electoral farce; it’s a tragedy,’’ the LUCHA activist group tweeted, noting a ruling party majority in provincial elections as well.