5th LD Writethru: Opposition candidate Tshisekedi wins DR Congo's presidential election: electoral commission

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KINSHASA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to interim results proclaimed early Thursday morning by the electoral commission.

According to the electoral commission, Tshisekedi, candidate of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), has collected more than 7 million votes across the country, with the exception of three cities where polls were not conducted for safety reasons.

Tshisekedi ran ahead of Martin Fayulu of the "Lamuka" coalition, and far ahead of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, candidate for the ruling coalition.

The runner-up Fayulu denounced the results as an "electoral coup" on Thursday in an interview with Radio France International.

"These results have nothing to do with the truth at the ballot box," said Fayulu. "It's a real electoral coup, it's incomprehensible."

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday also questioned the results of the election. According to CNews, a French news channel, the minister believed that Tshisekedi's victory did not accord with what was seen on the ground.

However, Shadary, who came third in the results, has congratulated Tshisekedi via his spokeswoman, the Associated Press reported.

The final results will be proclaimed in the coming days according to a new timetable after confirmation of these provisional results by the Constitutional Court in accordance with the DRC's national law.

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on all stakeholders to refrain from violence, according to a statement released on the UN website late Wednesday in New York.

The UN chief called on related parties "to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms in line with the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Constitution and relevant electoral laws."

Tshisekedi took over the UDPS presidency from his late father Etienne Tshisekedi, the first opposition leader in the DRC's history.

The DRC held presidential elections on Dec. 30, 2018 and the results were scheduled to be announced on Jan. 6. But the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) put off announcing the results due to problems with collecting data. Enditem

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