The Latest: Congo police gather outside electoral commission
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The Latest on Congo’s presidential election (all times local):
Anti-riot police are gathering outside Congo’s electoral commission as the country awaits the first results of the presidential election.
Several dozen officers are in the quiet street as midnight approaches.
Some opposition parties are urging the electoral commission to release results as soon as possible after it delayed the announcement indefinitely on Sunday.
The commission is meeting to discuss results that have been compiled so far.
Opposition candidates, the Catholic church and international community have urged that the results reflect the will of the Congolese people. The country is choosing a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who has been in office since 2001.
Leading Congo opposition candidate Martin Fayulu says his coalition will release its own election results if the ones announced by the electoral commission don’t conform to the will of the people.
Fayulu told The Associated Press in an interview that the delay in announcing the outcome of the Dec. 30 presidential election is to “fudge the results.” He warned the electoral commission “to not play with fire, it is very dangerous.”
Congo is choosing a successor to the departing President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled since 2001.
Spokesmen for opposition candidate Felix Tshsekedi and ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary have both hinted at victory, though regulations say only the electoral commission can announce results.
The commission on Sunday indefinitely delayed announcing the results of the vote.
A Congo opposition party is calling its candidate the “presumed winner” of the presidential election and indicates that Felix Tshisekedi has had contact with departing President Joseph Kabila “to prepare a peaceful and civilized transfer of power.”
Kabila adviser Kikaya Bin Karubi, however, on Tuesday denied any such contact.
The statements by UDPS opposition party secretary-general Jean-Marc Kabund appeared to go against electoral regulations that say only Congo’s electoral commission can announce election results.
The UDPS also warned that the commission could be delaying the announcement of the Dec. 30 election results in a bid to manipulate the outcome. The electoral commission on Sunday delayed it indefinitely.
A spokesman for the ruling coalition rejected the accusation, asking “Why would we have to steal?”