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Presidents of Zambia and South Africa hold talks over DRC

Presidents of Zambia and South Africa hold talks over DRC

And opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu has warned election officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo not to "disguise the truth" as tensions mount over the delayed result.

The DRC has been in the grip of a two-year-old crisis over the succession of President Joseph Kabila, who said previous year he would step down after almost two decades in power.

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Kabila has backed ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who is under European Union sanctions for his role in a crackdown on people protesting the election delay when he was interior minister.

It was not immediately clear whether opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, who had pushed hard for Kabila to leave power and vowed to clean up Congo's widespread corruption, will contest the results after leading in polling.

On Tuesday, Fayulu and six other presidential candidates issued a statement saying that "the electoral results can not be negotiated and under no circumstances will we or the Congolese people accept such results". "Where did the extra seven million votes come from [for Tshisekedi's victory]?" CENI has come under pressure from the DRC Catholic Church's National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (Conférence Épiscopale Nationale du Congo: CENCO), which mounted its own 40,000-strong electoral observer mission and parallel vote tabulation operation. The delay in announcing results has led some Congolese to suspect possible manipulation in favor of the ruling party. If confirmed, Tshisekedi will be the first opposition challenger to win since the Democratic Republic of Congo gained independence in 1960, BBC News reports. The constitutional court has 14 days to validate them.

He received more than 7 million of the 18 million votes cast (38 percent), the commission said.

Tshisekedi "is provisionally proclaimed elected as president", CENI President Corneille Nangaa said.

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Nangaa has blamed the delay in announcing results on the opposition's insistence on manual counting.

Congolese activist groups have urged people to "be ready to massively take to the streets" if the commission does not publish results in accordance with "the truth of the ballot boxes".

The election outcome was initially expected to be announced on Sunday.

Spokeswoman Marie-France Idikayi tells The Associated Press that "we are waiting for the final deliberations of the electoral commission plenary session to end but the announcement room is prepared".

Congolese riot police take position around the electoral commission building at night in Kinshasa, Congo, Tuesday Jan. 8, 2019.

The vast, mineral-rich Central African country is choosing a successor to departing President Joseph Kabila, in power since 2001.

More than one million people were kept from voting on election day because of an Ebola outbreak and militia violence in opposition strongholds, mainly in DRC's east.