KINSHASA, Martin Fayulu, who came second in DR Congo's presidential election, has appealed to the Constitutional Court to annul the provisional result which awarded victory to his opposition rival Felix Tshisekedi, his lawyer said.
The request was filed on Friday ahead of a 48-hour deadline for any appeals against the shock result which was announced before dawn on Thursday.
"The request seeks the annulment of the result declaring Felix Tshisekedi president," Toussaint Ekombe told reporters outside the court.
It was the latest twist in a long-running political crisis which erupted two years ago when President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his constitutional term in office, sparking massive protests which were brutally repressed.
On Dec 30, after repeated delays, voters finally went to the polls to choose his successor in an election pitting two opposition candidates, Fayulu and Tshisekedi, against Kabila's handpicked successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.
Opinion polls had flagged Fayulu as the clear favourite, although most observers predicted a result rigged in favour of Shadary. But the results declared Tshisekedi the victor with 38.57 per cent, while Fayulu came second with 34.8 per cent.
The court now has eight days to consider the request.
"I got more than 61 per cent of the vote compared with the others, who each got 18 per cent," Fayulu said.
"Between them, they didn't get more than 40 per cent."
Fayulu has denounced the result as an "electoral coup" engineered by Kabila in which Tshisekedi was "totally complicit".
Explaining the appeal, the 62-year-old said election chief Corneille Nangaa had "broken electoral law" and that only a recount would establish the truth of what happened at the ballot box.
Hours earlier, the election committee unveiled the results of legislative elections, which also took place on Dec 30, with supporters of the outgoing president winning a majority in the 500-seat National Assembly.
Provisional results indicated candidates from the pro-Kabila FCC coalition secured up to 288 of the 485 seats so far declared, putting them in control of parliament for the next five years. Another 141 seats went to the opposition.
International observers have been closely watching developments in sub-Saharan Africa's largest country, which covers an area equivalent to that of western Europe, with reactions to the election outcome guarded.
Most leaders called for any disagreements to be resolved peacefully in statements that pointedly lacked any congratulations for Tshisekedi, with the dispute over the results playing out in the UN Security Council on Friday.
Source: NAM News Network