The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called out for recounting of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Presidential Election votes that the runner-up party claims was rigged.
“A recount would provide the necessary reassurance to both winners and losers,” SADC said in a statement, reported AllAfrica.com.
The inter-governmental organization, which has 16 member states including South Africa and Angola, has called on all political leaders to consider a negotiated political settlement for an all-inclusive government.
In his capacity as chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, such a recounting of votes would “enhance public confidence, build bridges and reinforce democratic institutions of government and electoral process for a better Congo”. Lungu had reportedly spoken to SADC leaders and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
The long-delayed elections were finally held on 30 December and the voting results released last week by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) declared Felix Tshisekedi as the winner with 38.57 percent of the votes.
Runner-up Martin Fayulu claimed that he has won the election by a huge margin, but opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was declared the winner as he had struck a deal with President Joseph Kabila. DRC’s influential Catholic Church has also backed Fayulu’s claims citing figures compiled by the Church’s 40,000 election observers across the vast Central African country. The data showed a different winner to that announced by the electoral commission. As per the figures, the election winner Tshieskedi only received 18 percent of the votes.
According to SADC, a recount would provide the necessary reassurance to both winners and losers. In the latest development, Fayulu filed a fraud complaint on Saturday with DRC’s highest court to challenge the result. The complaint will be considered by DRC’s courts before CENI publishes the final results.