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Kabila accepts loss of party’s candidate in DRC elections, says advisor

The electoral commission declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the surprise winner of last month’s presidential poll.

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila casts his vote along with his family at the Insititut de la Gombe polling station during general elections in Kinshasa on 30 December 2018. Picture: AFP

PRETORIA - An advisor to Joseph Kabila says the outgoing president has accepted the loss of his party's preferred candidate in the contentious election.

The electoral commission declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the surprise winner of last month’s presidential poll.

Barnabe Karubi says while Kabila's candidate Emmanuel Shadary lost, the Congolese people have chosen and democracy has triumphed.

Riot police have been deployed since Wednesday for fear of violence.

Bishops of the Catholic Church, which is easily the most dominant religion in the Democratic Republic of Congo, were saying last week that they knew who had won the presidential election.

They obeyed the law against naming any victor prematurely.

However, diplomatic sources gleaned from them that opposition coalition candidate Martin Fayulu had succeeded as pre-election polls indicated he would.

Fayulu is expected to contest the provisional result and the fact that more than 1.2 million voters in three cities strongly supporting him had been disenfranchised.

The question is, will his supporters chose the streets or the courts to express their rejection of the outcome?

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)