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Congo election runner-up says country’s ruling party is desperate

Congo election runner-up says country’s ruling party is desperate
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KINSHASA, CONGO—Congo’s presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu, who is challenging his election loss in court, says the government deployed armed soldiers around his headquarters because of the ruling party’s “desperation.”

Fayulu is legally challenging his defeat, saying that 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 say that election winner Felix Tshieskedi only received 18 per cent of the vote.

Democratic Republic of Congo opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu (R) files an appeal with his legal team at the Constitutional Court in Kinshasa, on January 12, 2019, challenging the results of the December 30, 2018 presidential election.  (STRINGER / AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

As Fayulu was preparing to file his legal challenge at the constitutional court Saturday, the Republican Guard surrounded his offices, dispersed supporters from the premises and briefly entered the property, according to witnesses.

Fayulu spoke to the press Sunday after attending mass at the Philadelphie missionary centre in Kinshasa and was asked about the incident with the Republican Guard.

“I’m attributing this to desperation. But we have faith,” said Fayulu. “Our faith is intact, unshakable, because the people have decided, and the wishes of the people will come true.”

Tshisekedi was expected to attend a service in the same church later Sunday but he cancelled for “security reasons,” according to a church press officer. Several journalists were waiting for him as Tshisekedi has made no public appearances since the announcements by Fayulu and the Catholic Church that the figures giving him victory are not accurate.

Congo runner-up claims victory, will file election challenge

“Felix Tsishekedi spoke the day the results were announced. At this stage he has nothing to add,” said press officer Lydie Omenga on Sunday. “He has already started work and now waits for the results to be confirmed. We are serene and we let the process follow its course. He will speak at his inauguration.”
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