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  • Martin Fayulu, Congolese opposition presidential candidate, during a press conference in Kinshasa, Congo, Jan. 8, 2019.

    Martin Fayulu, Congolese opposition presidential candidate, during a press conference in Kinshasa, Congo, Jan. 8, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 January 2019

The publication delay of the presidential election results raises doubts about who will be President Joseph Kabila's successor.

Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) on Wednesday that he will not accept a "negotiated result" of the presidential elections held on Dec. 30.

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"We firmly believe that the results of the elections are not negotiable and that in no case will the Congolese people or we ourselves accept in such a way," Fayulu said in a joint statement signed also by other candidates.

Fayulu, a national deputy who presented himself as a common candidate on behalf of the opposition, urged CENI to publish the results "as soon as possible," after this body announced that it would delay the announcement until later this week.

"We warned CENI against all attempts to disguise the truth of the polls and we ask that the candidate who has obtained a greater number of votes be proclaimed elected," the statement continued.

These statements came after CENI announced on Jan. 6 that it had already counted more than half of the votes, although it did not indicate the day on which the total result would be announced.

In some parts of the country, especially in Beni and Butembo, two cities that were left without voting due to the Ebola outbreak, have begun to celebrate the victory of the opponent shouting "Fayulu president," according to local media.

The postponement of the results may raise tensions in the nation that has already experienced three postponements in the last two electoral years.

Once the CENI publishes the provisional results counted 100%, candidates will have three days to file appeals and the Constitutional Court another week to give a verdict and publish the official results.

Meanwhile, Congolese citizens remain without access to Internet and social networks as authorities decided to cut internet connections and SMS services across the country.

"A general closure of the network constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and can not, in any way, be justified," United Nations specialist on Freedom of Expression, David Kaye said, according to Angola Press.

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