Congo Election Runner Up To Press Fraud Dispute In Court

KINSHASA (Reuters) - The runner-up in Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election said on Friday he in fact won a landslide victory with more than 60 percent of votes and will file a formal fraud complaint.

The vote was intended as Congo’s first democratic transfer of power in six decades, but instead threatens to reawaken violence in the huge and tumultuous nation where millions have died during civil wars since the 1990s.

“When you know you are in the right, you are not allowed to remain home,” Martin Fayulu said, urging supporters to “rise up” and contest the results with him.

Though pre-election polls predicted a landslide for Fayulu, a businessman and former manager at Exxon Mobil, the national election board, CENI, said he lost to another opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, 55.

Fayulu’s camp said on Friday its tally showed he won 62 percent of votes, to Tshisekedi’s 19 percent.

His supporters believe authorities rigged the result in a deal to protect members of President Joseph Kabila’s outgoing administration and maintain his influence over security forces.

The influential Catholic Church has also rejected the official result based on tallies by its bishops conference’s (CENCO) 40,000-strong observer mission. France and former colonial power Belgium also expressed doubts.

In comments to the U.N. Security Council via teleconference on Friday, CENI president Corneille Nangaa defended the vote’s credibility and attacked CENCO.

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