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DRC: Court Upholds Tshisekedi as President; Fayulu Petition Dismissed

The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has rejected presidential candidate Martin Fayulu’s appeal seeking a manual recount of the votes following a disputed election and upheld the victory of Felix Tshisekedi as the country’s president-elect.

Court which sat today Sunday morning said Fayulu lacked “sufficient evidence” of rigging to warrant a recount.

Chimp Corps report that court agreed with the electoral commission’s lawyers that Faluku did not present the evidence to prove he obtained 60% of the vote as he claimed in the media.

“Felix Tshisekedi is the duly elected president of DRC,” said the court in the wee hours of Sunday. 

The development will be seen as partial victory for Tshisekedi whose election continues to attract stiff resistance from European countries and the DRC’s influential Catholic Church.

The African Union earlier this week expressed “serious doubts” about the credibility of the election outcome and urged DRC to delay the pronouncement of the final election outcome.

The Constitutional Court said its ruling is “irrevocable”.

A cross section of African Union leaders resolved to send representatives including the current chair, President Paul Kagame to Kinshasa to meet with DRC’s top leadership to discuss the political situation.

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Observers will argue that the Constitutional Court’s decision not only punches holes in Fayulu’s claims of massive rigging but also legitimizes Tshisekedi’s election. 

Tshisekedi appears to have the support of SADC which has appealed to the international community to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of DRC in accordance with the AU Constitutive Act, and the SADC Treaty.

The SADC Summit held this week also recognized and underscored the role of the Constitutional Court of the DRC and called upon the international community to “respect the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the internal legal and political processes for the finalization of the electoral process.” 

Tshisekedi will be sworn in as DRC’s President next week, taking over from President Joseph Kabila. 

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