DR Congo election: Officials delay result of presidential vote

DR Congo election: Officials delay result of presidential vote

Congolese election observers from political parties wait for their shift to observe the count of the presidential ballots from over 900 polling stations at outside a local results compilation center in Kinshasa, Congo, Friday Jan. 4, 2019.

Observers have reported multiple irregularities as the vast, mineral-rich Central African country voted for a successor to departing President Joseph Kabila. The Church on Saturday answered allegations by the electoral commission that it was hoping to stoke an "insurrection".

The CENCO mission and another domestic observer group, SYMOCEL, both said in reports on Thursday they witnessed widespread irregularities on election day, though they did not allege outright fraud.

Congo's ruling party, which backs candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, called the church's attitude "irresponsible and anarchist".

The electoral commission had said that Cenco was attempting to "brainwash the population" through its comments about the possible victor in the 30 December elections, according to a letter from Corneille Nangaa, the electoral commission's chief.

Mr Royce said the United States could adopt new sanctions, under a Bill passed in November, against Congolese officials who have undermined the democratic process.

Democratic Republic of Congo's Catholic Church said on Thursday it was clear which candidate won the country's presidential election, and demanded that the electoral commission publish accurate results.

France requested the meeting, which was scheduled for 15:00, as world powers await results from the landmark vote held last Sunday.

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"Everybody at this point is extremely aware of the potential for violence ... that potential exists because the regime organised the elections to win them and that seems to have become hard ... it will be extremely hard [for the government] to keep things as they are", he told Al Jazeera.

The United Nations' human rights office warned on Friday that the move could cause a violent backlash when results are announced.

Congo faces what could be its first democratic, peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

The first members of this U.S. contingent arrived in Libreville, Gabon on January 2, Trump said in a letter sent to Congress on Friday. But the election's credibility has come under suspicion after ongoing delays in reporting the results.

The National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) called on the election commission to "publish the election results in keeping with truth and justice".

He was barred from running for another term under the constitution, and was supposed to step down two years ago, but the election was postponed after the electoral commission said it needed more time to register voters. The opposition, represented by its two main candidates Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi, and Shadary's camp have all claimed they are on course to win, without posting specific figures.

Mr Mende said the government had cut the Internet until the election results were published to stop the opposition, journalists and others on social media from publishing fake results that could spark violence.

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