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March 22, 2019

DR Congo presidential runner-up appeals against result: lawyer

DR Congo presidential runner-up appeals against result: lawyer
'Presidential candidate Martin Fayulu casts his vote at the Insititut de la Gombe polling station in Kinshasa during the DR Congo's general election on December 30, 2018' - By: AFP/File Luis TATO

Martin Fayulu, who came second in DR Congo's presidential election, has appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul the provisional result which awarded victory to his opposition rival Felix Tshisekedi, his lawyer said Saturday.

"The request seeks the annulment of the result declaring Felix Tshisekedi president," Toussaint Ekombe told reporters outside the court.

"It was filed yesterday," he said of the appeal, which by law needed to be filed within 48 hours of Thursday's early-morning announcement.

Explaining the appeal, Fayulu said he believed election chief Corneille Nangaa had "broken electoral law" in the December 30 vote to choose a successor to President Joseph Kabila.

The declared outcome handed victory to Tshisekedi with 38.57 percent of the vote, with Fayulu coming second with 34.8 percent.

But Fayulu denounced the result as an "electoral coup" engineered by Kabila in which Tshisekedi was "totally complicit", saying the truth of what happened at the ballot box would only come out with a recount.

"We have asked the Constitutional Court to do its job, and nothing more," said Fayulu, whose backers say he won 61 percent of the vote.

"We cannot put someone in office and start to make up figures that will allow Kabila to take back power tomorrow. That would be unacceptable," he said.

"I will not abandon the people. We will go all the way to recover this victory."

The Constitutional Court now has eight working days to study the request before giving its ruling, with the new president expected to be sworn in on January 22, Nangaa said early on Saturday.

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