Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jan 14, 2019 / 10:51 am
After a disputed presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the nation's bishops have asked the UN Security Council to push the election commission to publish data from the vote.
Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisangani, president of the Congolese bishops' conference, told the UN Jan. 11 that the commission's announcement that opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi had won the Dec. 30 election did not correspond with the result of Catholic vote monitors.
The AP reported that Archbishop Utembi said publishing the data will enable the candidates to compare their numbers with the commission's results.
“This might dispel doubts among the population as to the outcome and may therefore set minds at rest,” he added.
The Congolese bishops' conference hopes that the UN Security Council will ask stakeholders to “prioritize the path of truth and peace while awaiting the outcome,” in case of a challenge.
The National Election Commission has announced that Tshisekedi had won the presidential election with 38.6 percent of the vote, just surpassing another opposition leader, former oil executive Martin Fayulu, who had 34.8 percent.
The two major opposition candidates both finished well ahead of former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who had been officially backed by outgoing President Joseph Kabila but had never gained traction during the campaign.
The Congolese bishops’ conference did not say which candidate their data showed winning the vote. However, Fayulu has claimed that he is the rightful winner and has suggested that Tshisekedi had made a power-sharing deal with Kabila to rig the election.