Archbishop Marcel Utembi, second from left, and other bishops arrive for the signing of an accord in Kinshasa, Congo, on Jan. 1 after talks launched by the Roman Catholic Church between the government and the opposition. (Junior D. Kannah/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Archbishop Marcel Utembi, second from left, and other bishops arrive for the signing of an accord in Kinshasa, Congo, on Jan. 1 after talks launched by the Roman Catholic Church between the government and the opposition. (Junior D. Kannah/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

 

DR Congo: Catholic election observers say they have genuine result

Although the electoral umpire in the Democratic Republic of Congo has not announced the Sunday election, a coalition of election Catholic church election observers, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (Cenco) has said they already have a genuine election result and urged the electoral body to declare the right person.

But the coalition in power has condemned the ‘influential catholic church’ for announcing that they know who the winner is in recent presidential elections.

Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, spokesman for the FCC (Common front for the Congo), told the BBC “they are doing something illegal and as a matter of fact they are preparing the population for insurrection”.

The ruling coalition said only the electoral commission is officially allowed to announce results.

Earlier this week the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (Cenco) said there was a clear winner of Sunday’s presidential election based on results it had seen.

Cenco, who deployed more than 40,000 election observers on voting day – more officials than any other body, did not say who it thought had won.

But bishops urged the authorities to be truthful and announce the results soon.

The Church had been vocal in its opposition to the extension of President Joseph Kabila’s rule. He was supposed to have stepped down in 2016.

For decades, the Catholic Church has been a force for democracy and grass-roots civic action in DR Congo, formerly Zaire.

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