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DRC Poll: Top Court Validates Tshisekedi Win, Investiture Planned

Brief about President-Elect Felix Tshisekedi

1 – Full name: Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, born on June 13, 1963 – aged 56
2 – Son of veteran opposition leader, late Etienne Tshisekedi. Dad founded Union for Democracy and Social Progress, UDPS, in 1982.
3 – In early twenties, went to Belgium for university education, later became national secretary for external affairs for the UDPS, based in Brussels.
4 – Father died in early 2017, UPDS picked Felix as party leader and by default presidential candidate.
5 – Joined and abandoned Lamuka coalition. Weeks later he announced a two-man coalition with Vital Kamerhe, the CACH coalition, in Nairobi.
6 – Declared president-elect after December 30, 2018 elections.

January 20: Court throws out Fayulu petition

The Constitutional Court in the DRC capital Kinshasa on Sunday ruled on the poll petition brought by Martin Fayulu; throwing it out as one without basis.

The decision confirmed the January 11 provisional results of presidential polls won by Felix Tshisekedi. Fayulu’s Lamuku coalition have rejected the court’s decision and called for peaceful protests.

Meanwhile reports indicate that Tuesday January 22 has been slated as the day of investiture of the new president. Tshisekedi will take over from Joseph Kabila who has been president for the past 18 years.

January 19: DRC top court to deliver verdict on poll challenge

The Constitutional Court hearing the poll challenge brought by Martin Fayulu is due to issue its verdict today, the court confirmed to the AFP news agency.

Multiple sources are reporting that despite the 14:00 GMT time given for the court sitting, it is expected to start late into the evening.

There are largely three possible outcomes according to legal experts seized with the issue. An affirmation, an annulment or a call for rerun of the polls.

  • Tshisekedi wins, swearing-in to take place in 10 days.
  • Order a recount of the votes – a position advanced by Fayulu.
  • Scrap the whole process and start again.

A fourth scenario will be the justices throwing out the case on a legal technicality. This will be akin to the first case of “endorsing” a Tshisekedi victory.

January 18: Kinshasa plays hard with AU advice to halt final results

Kinshasa has rejected an African Union position that it delays the announcement of final results from its disputed presidential election, the government said on Friday.

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The final tally for the Dec. 30 election, which was marred by widespread violence and fraud allegations, is to be released once the Constitutional Court has ruled on challenges to the provisional results, including from opposition leader and election runner-up Martin Fayulu.

The court’s decision is expected later on Friday or Saturday. Government spokesman Lambert Mende said on Friday that while the AU delegation was welcome, the post-electoral process would not change as Kinshasa had the sovereign right to control it.

January 17: AU chief doubts results of polls

“Even if the situation on the ground has been fortunately calm so far, it obviously remains a cause for concern.

“Frankly, there are serious doubts about the compliance of the results that have been proclaimed,” these are the words of the African Union commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat as AU and regional bloc, SADC, met over the DRC’s political impasse in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The elections body, CENI, declared Felix Tshisekedi winner of the poll but a fellow opposition candidate, Martin Fayulu, is in court challenging the results.

The powerful Catholic church and other independent observers have claimed the results have been rigged. The court is due to deliver a judgment soon.

January 15: Court hearing poll challenge: UNSC hails Congolese maturity

The January 12 petition deposited at the Constitutional Court in Kinshasa is being heard as different parties make their submissions to the panel of judges on why or why not the provisional presidential results should be cancelled.

The United Nations Security Council, UNSC, after a meeting on the DRC issued a statement that largely called on Congolese to maintain a peaceful atmosphere whiles awaiting the relevant authorities to act.

The statement also stressed the UNSC respect for the sovereignty of the DRC saying: “They (UNSCmembers) reiterated their full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC, in accordance with the UN charter.”

The election body has categorically rejected the petitioners case seeking to annul the December 30 polls. Reports indicate that the CACH coalition led by Felix Tshisekedi could apply to join the case and ask that the CENI’s declaration be respected.

The results have been flatly rejected by the Catholic Church whiles France, Belgium, United Kingdom and United States have called for release of detailed result tallies.

On their part, the regional blocs, SADC and ICGLR have advocated the need for a recount of votes to assure winners and losers that the process was clean and not tampered with.

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