(KINSHASA, Congo) — The head of Congo’s electoral commission says the country is on the brink of “its first peaceful, civilized handover of power” since independence 60 years ago.
Comeille Nangaa Yobeluo told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that the commission is waiting for final reports on the presidential election held Dec. 30. The commission announced opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi early Thursday as the surprise winner of the vote.
The runner-up, Martin Fayulu, says he plans to challenge the election results in court. At the U.N., the election commission’s Yobeluo said any challenges would be handled by Congo’s judicial bodies.
He said the Catholic Church challenged the outcome of the presidential elections held in 2006 and 2011 and it was “no surprise” the church was challenging new provisional results.
The church has said its election observers found another candidate, not Tshisekedi, won.
Yobeluo told the Security Council: “What is critical is that the results are within reach and now it is time…for the new authorities to be supported” by the international community.