DR Congo poll board 'to unveil results soon'

The Latest: US to citizens in Congo: 'Depart the country'

The Latest: US to citizens in Congo: 'Depart the country'

Celebrating Tshisekedi supporters converged on his party headquarters in Kinshasa, DR Congo's capital, where the mood was otherwise reported to be largely somber amid memories of elections in 2006 and 2011 that were marred by bloodshed.

Another opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, was declared the victor amid accusations of a power-sharing deal with the outgoing president.

"Outgoing President Joseph Kabila will be able to influence Tshisekedi, who now owes his ascendancy to power to Kabila's control of the electoral commission", Robert Besseling, a Johannesburg-based executive director at business risk consultancy Exx Africa, said in an emailed note. "(.) The Congolese people will never accept that his victory be stolen".

The Congo's Catholic Church has rejected the results of the Central African nation's presidential election, saying they don't match the data collected by its observers.

The church did not name a victor, but reports say it's count finds opposition candidate and businessman Martin Fayulu coming out on top. Three diplomats briefed on the Church mission's tally said it showed Fayulu had won.

"How long are we going to negotiate results?" asked Fayulu, of what he said was a deal made to declare Tshisekedi the victor.

Fellow opposition candidate Fayulu who was backed by former Katanga governor Moise Katumbi - considered a traitor by Kabila - and ex-warlord and former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, has also sounded a conciliatory tone.

Tshisekedi ran ahead of Martin Fayulu of the "Lamuka" coalition, and far ahead of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, candidate for the ruling coalition.

According to news reports, the preliminary results announced by the independent electoral commission, known by its French acronym, CENI, which declared opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi the victor of the 30 December election, do not tally with the unofficial figures gathered by independent poll observers.

Long in the shadow of his father, the late opposition leader Etienne, Tshisekedi startled Congo a year ago by breaking away from the opposition's unity candidate, Fayulu, to stand on his own. Fayulu has implied that the front knew Shadary was unlikely to win and so made a decision to promote Tshisekedi instead.

Vital Kamerhe, one of Tshisekedi's supporters, told DW that following the election, DR Congo was among the countries that have seen peaceful turnover of power and that Kabila should receive some credit for that.

Dozens of polling centres opened hours late as materials went missing. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

Congo's government cut internet service the day after the vote to prevent speculation on social media.

The latest developments add to a broader snapshot of disarray and questionable practices in the long-overdue vote to succeed President Joseph Kabila.

Mr Fayulu said he feared there would be violence if the electoral commission did not give the true figures "polling station by polling station" and that it was the right of all Congolese to demonstrate according to the law.

Now Congo faces a new leader who is little known after spending many years in Belgium and living in the shadow of his outspoken father.

Some Congolese have said Tshisekedi lost support by splitting the opposition.

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