Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won the Democratic Republic of Congo’s tightly contested presidential vote, the electoral commission says.
Provisional results put him ahead of another opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, and the ruling coalition’s Emmanuel Shadary.
If confirmed, Mr Tshisekedi will be the first opposition challenger to win since the DR Congo gained independence.
Current President Joseph Kabila is stepping down after 18 years in office.
He had promised DR Congo’s first orderly transfer of power since the country’s independence from Belgium in 1960.
The election outcome was initially expected to be announced on Sunday. The interim result can still be challenged.
In the early hours of Thursday the head of DR Congo’s National Electoral Commission (Ceni), Corneille Nangaa, said Mr Tshisekedi had received 38.5% of the vote and had been “provisionally declared the elected president”.
The full results were, with turnout reportedly 48%:
Felix Tshisekedi – 7 million votes Martin Fayulu – 6.4 million votes Emmanuel Shadary – 4.4 million votes What’s the reaction been? Mr Tshisekedi, who is the son of late veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, told supporters at his Union for Democracy and Social Progress party headquarters in Kinshasa that Mr Kabila should no longer be seen as a rival.
“I pay tribute to President Joseph Kabila and today we should no longer see him as an adversary, but rather, a partner in democratic change in our country,” he said.
Mr Tshisekedi has promised to make the fight against poverty his priority.
Mr Fayulu, a former oil tycoon, dismissed the results as having “nothing to do with the truth”.
“The Congolese people will never accept such a fraud,” he told the BBC, adding: “Felix Tshisekedi never got 7 million votes. Where did he get them from?”
And France appeared to back him: the foreign ministry said the announced results did not reflect the vote.
How will Congolese citizens react?
Analysis by Louise Dewast, BBC News, in Kinshasa
This is a historic moment for Mr Tshisekedi’s party, the UDPS, who have tried unsuccessfully to win power for decades.
But in recent days, rumours of a deal between Mr Tshisekedi and Mr Kabila have raised concerns among other members of the opposition. Mr Tshisekedi himself has acknowledged talks with the ruling party to prepare a transition of power.
Candidates can appeal results if they wish and the final decision will be announced by the constitutional court.
The big question now is how the country will react. There are serious concerns of unrest if people conclude that results have lacked in credibility.
The Catholic Church, which deployed the largest number of election observers, has warned they will reject any results they believe to be fraudulent.
On Wednesday, anti-riot police were deployed in the capital, Kinshasa, amid fears that a disputed result could trigger violence.
Polling at the end of last month was marred by allegations of vote-rigging. The influential Catholic Church warned that there had been irregularities.
The leaders of Zambia and South Africa urged officials to release the tally quickly to avoid growing suspicion around the poll, which has been marred by allegations of fraud.
- Learn From Your Comteporary How To Apply Leadership Skills- COAS Task Officers.
- Benue South APC Exco Visits Akume, Lauds His Leadership Style, Vow To Unseat Ortom At The Tribunal
- Guber Polls: Jonathan, Dickson, Others Converge On Yenagoa For Ijaw Stakeholders Workshop
- 9th Assembly: Right the Wrongs of Past Speakers, Umahi urges Gbajabiamila
- Kano Airport New Terminal 90 Percent Ready – Minister
‘Our Gas Intervention Impacting Nigeria’s Economy’
Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc has been at the forefront of investing in projects that will enhance gas utilization and...
Stakeholders Task FG On Digital Switchover
Critical stakeholders have urged the federal government to ensure the realisation of a full transition from Analogue to Digital Terrestrial...
FG To Move Manufacturing Industry From 10 To 20% Of GDP – Enelamah
The federal government has been making several efforts to foster industrial revolution in Nigeria, in this interview with BAYO AMODU,...
We Won’t Allow External Forces Destroy ACOMORAN – National President
Samsudeen Apelogun is the national president of the Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners, Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria...
Emefiele And The Not So Exclusive Audio Tapes
In Nigeria, must we always kill our illustrious sons? It is a question that several persons of repute, including activist...
Govs Move Against NFIU’s Monitoring Of Joint Account
Governors of the 36 states of the federation are uncomfortable with the decision of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU)...
COVER STORIES20 hours ago
Investigation Sheds More Light On PMB’s Appointments
NEWS20 hours ago
Mob Sets Suspected Kidnapper Ablaze In Kaduna
COLUMNS18 hours ago
The Best Governors Of 2015 – 2019: An Objective Review
NEWS19 hours ago
Marafa Condemns Gov Yari’s Visit To Saudi Arabia
POLITICS19 hours ago
As Mark Takes A Bow From Active Politics
EDITORIAL20 hours ago
8th NASS And The Buhari Presidency
METRO19 hours ago
Why We Will Not Allocate Plots Without Infrastructure – FCTA
SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY19 hours ago
Bridging Standardisation Gap In Telecom Sector