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DR Congo election results postponed until 'next week': electoral commission

DR Congo election results postponed until 'next week': electoral commission

Kabila's government has cut off internet in the Congo, and shut down Radio France Internationale (RFI) and some local media outlets this week, saying it wanted to prevent the circulation of "fake" results.

Already the powerful Catholic Church has reported that its tallies shows an outright victor of the polls.

"We have observed that the Congolese people have chosen a candidate as president of the republic", Donatien Nshole, secretary general of Cenco, told RFI's Sonia Rolley in an interview broadcast on Friday.

The US military has deployed soldiers to Gabon amid fears of violent protests in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo after its presidential election.

This could be Congo's first democratic, peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

Congo's powerful Roman Catholic Church said on Thursday that its election observer mission knew who had won the election based on voting tallies, but it did not identify the victor.

No Western election observers were invited to watch the vote, which was meant to occur in late 2016, after Congo's government was annoyed at worldwide pressure amid concerns that Kabila was trying to stay in power.

Meanwhile, Lamuka co-spokesperson Kamitatu said the tallies collected from almost all polling stations by Lamuka monitors clearly showed it was impossible that outgoing President Joseph Kabila's anointed successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary would win the election.

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"We strongly urge the CENI to ensure that votes are counted in a transparent and open manner, with observers present, and that the results reported by CENI are accurate and correspond to results announced at each of DRC's 75,000 polling stations", it read.

"It is not possible to publish the results on Sunday".

The United States was deeply concerned by the DRC's National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) decision to deny accreditation to several worldwide election observers and media representatives, it said.

The combat troops and supporting military aircraft would provide security to U.S. citizens, personnel and diplomatic facilities in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, should the need arise.

The United States on Thursday called on CENI to produce accurate results and threatened sanctions against anybody who sought to undermine the process.

The U.S. ahead of the vote ordered "non-emergency" government employees and family members to leave the country.

Another opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, said that electoral body must declare true results as per the ballots cast.

"This being a very sensitive, a very tense period, we are concerned that these efforts to silence dissent could backfire considerably when the results are announced", a spokeswoman for the United Nations human rights office, Ravina Shamdasani, said Friday, also noting intimidation of journalists, observers and rights activists. Some 40 million people were registered to vote. That has led many Congolese to suspect that he will rule from the shadows if Shadary takes office.