‘I will not let the peo­ple down’

Nelson Mail - - World -

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.

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