France queries DR Congo election outcome

Counting the votes in DR Congo Africa's second largest country has been a mamoth task

Felix Tshisekedi of Congo's Union for Democracy and Social Progress opposition party won the long-delayed presidential election.

But bitterness among supporters of runner-up Martin Fayulu and speculation about a deal between the provisional victor Felix Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila will raise questions of legitimacy, fuelling volatility, commentators said.

"You know that this proclamation is the fruit of results trafficked, invented and fabricated", Fayulu told reporters after the results were announced.

Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, one of Congolese President Joseph Kabila's top advisors, accepted on Thursday the loss of the ruling party's preferred candidate in a contentious election.

The result could lead to Congo's first democratic transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960, with longtime President Joseph Kabila due to step down in coming days.

And France's top diplomat said the victory was "not consistent" with the results and that Fayulu appeared to have won, citing a parallel count by DRC's powerful Catholic Church, which sent 40,000 observers to the election.

Residents of the capital, Kinshasa, said the heavy security presence was a bad sign, with some recalling the violence that followed past disputed elections.

It also remains to be seen whether Tshisekedi has the intention or the capacity to challenge Kabila's strong hold over intelligence services, security services and key ministries in the country, CBS News' Patta said.

He further said: "To all those who learned of the truth of the ballot boxes, especially to the Congo's National Bishops' Episcopal Conference, CENCO, and the Church of Congo, LCC, through your historical observations, we ask you to reveal to the Congolese people and to the whole world the name of the person who really was our people's choice". Tshisekedi's supporters with Congo's most prominent opposition group took to the streets in jubilation.

"Mr Kabila can not stay and make an arrangement with someone who will not have any power". Tshisekedi "has wavered at times in his opposition to the regime and is far from having his late father's intransigence".

Spokeswoman Marie-France Idikayi tells The Associated Press that "we are waiting for the final deliberations of the electoral commission plenary session to end but the announcement room is prepared".

Has there been any violence?

NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports from Kinshasa that the results could lead to protests and allegations of rigging.

Protests were reported in the eastern city of Kisangani, and Fayulu supporters vented their frustrations.

"The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms in line with the DRC's Constitution and relevant electoral laws", said Mr. Guterres in a statement released by his Spokesperson, late on Wednesday evening in NY.

What was the result of the election?

The Independent National Election Commission (CENI) gave Tshisekedi 38.57% of the vote, ahead of Fayulu with 34.8%. About 18.3 million votes were cast, representing turnout of nearly 48 percent.

How has the result been received?

In 2011, Etienne Tshisekedi's victory was stolen.

His spokesman, Louis d'Or Ngalamulume, said there was "never any deal" with Mr Kabila. The party of Kabila, who has held power for 18 years, had a candidate in the race named Emmanuel Shadary who came in third place. Le Drian called for calm and clarity in the true election tally.

The United States, African Union, European Union and others have urged Congo's government to make sure the election results conform to the will of the people.



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