DRC Constitutional Court begins the review of Electoral Dispute

The appeal filed by Martin Fayulu to the Constitutional Court of the DRC begins Tuesday.

The opponent said the day after the announcement of the results of the presidential election by the CENI (Electoral Commission), that he will use all legal remedies against these results that does not reflect “the truth of the ballot box” and can be invalidated.

Martin Fayulu opposes the provisional results published by the CENI which gives the opponent Felix Tshisekedi, winner with 38.57% of the vote and the credit of the second place with 34.8% of the vote.

These results challenged by Lamuka, Fayulu’s political coalition are also far from data consolidated by the Congolese National Bishops’ Conference (CENCO) which has deployed some 40,000 observers in the country.

“The Constitutional Court will begin to review the appeal of Martin Fayulu on Tuesday from 09:30 (08:30 GMT),” said AFP Baudouin Mwehu, press officer in the office of the President of the Constitutional Court. The hearings should be public and broadcast live.

“What we expect from the Constitutional Court is the re-establishment of the truth of the polls,” said Albert Fabrice Puela, one of Martin Fayulu’s lawyers for whom “the result proclaimed by the CENI is a crime.” The highest court in the country, the Constitutional Court is composed of nine members and is responsible for deciding the electoral disputes: it has eight days to make its decision from the filing of the appeal of Martin Fayulu.

Fayulu camp does not have any illusions about the impartiality of the Constitutional Court although it hopes that it will say the right. And alluding to President Kabila, Matthieu Kalele Ka-Bila (de Fayulu’s deputy) indicates that Fayulu camp knows that “it is his court (in Kabila)”, a Court won over to the cause of the outgoing president accused by a fringe the opposition to have a political agreement with Felix Tshisekedi. And for good reason, the DRC has a semi-presidential regime where the Prime Minister must leave the ranks of the majority group in the Assembly. In this case it is the pro-Kabila presidential majority.

Felix Tshisekedi, who has obtained only 50 elected representatives at the head of the Coalition for Change (CACH), is forced to cohabit with Kabila’s supporters. The presidential majority whose candidate, Emmanuel Shadary, came in third seems not to be interested in the wars of contesting the results of the presidential election between the two opponents.

Kabila’s camp is just as far from the debate on the recount of votes and the SADC proposal on a unity government. Taking into account the “serious doubts” about the provisional results, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) suggested on Sunday a recount that “would reassure both winners and losers”.

“If this recount is a decision of the Constitutional Court, UDPS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress) will accept it, but we do not hear that this recount of votes is imposed by foreign states” said Vidiye Tshimanga, spokesperson for Félix Tshisekedi.

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