African nations call upon DRC to recount election result

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The Southern African Development Community (SADC), comprising of 16 member states, has called upo the Demovratic Republic of Congo to recount its disputed presidential election result.

The DRC’s electoral commission named opposition leader Félix Tshisekedi as the surprise winner of the election but runner up Martin Fayulu says he won the poll by a large margin – a claim seemingly backed up by the country’s influential Catholic Church, which stationed roughly 40,000 election monitors.

SADC cals for election recount

With speculation mounting that the DRC’s election was rigged, the SADC is calling upon the DRC to recount the votes from its presidential election amid fears that a disputed outcome will lead to violence. The DRC has never experienced a peaceful transition of power and multiple opposition figures accused the government of attempting to rig the vote in the build-up to the election.

Prior to the vote, which was delayed by more than two years while President Joseph Kabila held onto power, opposition figures suspected the poll was being hijacked to ensure a win for the ruling coalition. However, opposition leader Félix Tshisekedi was annoucned as the surprise winner last week.

While the result means the ruling coalition will no longer be in power, election favourite Martin Fayulu’s camp accuse Tshisekedi’s of striking a deal with the ruling coalition in return for the election win.

A disputed outcome was always likley – whatever result was announced – but Fayulu’s claims have been bolstered by the DRC’s Catholic Church saying the wrong winner was announced. Before the electoral commission’s announcement, the church said its own data pointed to a clear winner – and now it’s apparent they weren’t talking about Tshisekedi.

Featured image: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=575985

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.