The DRC's Constitutional Court issued an announcement late (local time) on Saturday, January 19, rejecting presidential runner-up Martin Fayulu's appeal for a recount and confirming Félix Tshisekedi's election win. According to the court, Fayulu's challenge was thrown out due to a lack of proof behind his claim that the provisional results were marred by fraud. Election-related protests are likely in Kinshasa and other urban centers in the near-term in response to Saturday's announcement. Clashes between rival political supporters and with security forces are likely.
An increased security deployment is to be expected in the coming hours and days in anticipation of possible unrest. Police forces in Kinshasa had previously announced they would stage daily and nightly patrols in some neighborhoods of the capital where increased political tensions, including death threats to Tshisekedi supporters, have been reported. Many governments have advised their nationals to postpone any travel to the DRC at least until the end of January.
DRC held long-awaited general elections on December 30 to choose a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who was ineligible to run for another term. There were numerous allegations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation and several people were killed in election-related violence. Opposition candidate Tshisekedi was declared winner of the presidential elections with 38.57 percent of the vote, followed by runner-up Fayulu with 34.83 percent. Elections in Beni, Butembo, and Yumbi had to be postponed due to security and health concerns (resurgence of Ebola), and are due to be held in March.
Individuals in the DRC are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest, refrain from discussing political topics in public, adhere to all instructions issued by their home government and local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer