SADC congratulates DRC poll winner

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Felix Tshisekedi (File: AFP)
Felix Tshisekedi (File: AFP)

The Southern African Development Community on Sunday congratulated President-elect Felix Tshisekedi and the Democratic Republic of Congo for conducting elections in a peaceful manner "despite the security and logistical challenges." The 16-nation regional bloc had last week called for a unity government and possible recount.

The group "calls upon all Congolese to accept the outcome, and consolidate democracy and maintain a peaceful and stable environment following the landmark elections." The body called on "all stakeholders to support the President-elect and his government in maintaining unity, peace and stability; and attaining socio-economic development in DRC (Congo). SADC looks forward to a peaceful transfer of power to the President-elect."

Tanzania's President John Magufuli also sent congratulations on Twitter. 

"I congratulate HE. Felix Tshisekedi on his election as President of the DRC. While congratulating all the Congolese, I beseech you to maintain peace and affirm my commitment to furthering our historic and brotherly ties," he wrote.

Meanwhile Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza also congratulated Tshisekedi and the Congolese people on the election result.

"Through a fully organised electoral process without outside influence and the wisdom of President Kabila, Congo has just defended its dignity and sovereignty. #Burundi congratulates the elected President, HE Felix A. Tshisekedi and the step taken by the Congolese people. "

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12:00

Congo's Constitutional court confirmed the victory of Felix Tshisekedi, dismissing the claims of massive vote fraud by runner-up Martin Fayulu.

Tshisekedi's supporters celebrated the court decision, announced early Sunday, by driving their motorcycles and cars in a procession through Kinshasa. Later the capital city was quiet, with people attending church. Other cities across Congo were also reported to be quiet.

But Fayulu's declaration that he is Congo's "only legitimate president" and call for the Congolese people to peacefully protest what he called a "constitutional coup d'etat" threatened to keep the country in a political crisis that has been simmering since the December 30 elections.

Tshisekedi welcomed the court's decision confirming him as the winner of the presidential election saying it was a victory for the entire country.

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