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African Union delays DR Congo mission over disputed presidential vote

CCTV and China Global Television Network (CGTN) | Young men wave DR Congo flags in Kinshasa.

The African Union has postponed sending a delegation to the DR Congo over the country's disputed presidential election after the Constitutional Court declared Felix Tshisekedi the victor, an AU spokeswoman said Sunday.

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"All I can confirm at this time is that the trip has been postponed. We will release a statement shortly," said Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for the head of the AU Commission, Chadian Moussa Faki.

This comment comes after an AU source earlier had said the pan-African organisation was cancelling its trip to Democratic Republic of Congo.

At a summit on Thursday, AU leaders had cited "serious doubts" about the election figures and called for the announcement of the final results to be delayed.

The European Union concurred with the AU assessment, a spokeswoman had said.

But the 16-nation Southern African Development Community congratulated Felix Tshisekedi, a longtime opposition leader, on Sunday for being declared president-elect and called for a peaceful handover of power.

The AU mission to Kinshasa, to be led by Faki and AU chairman Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, had originally been set for Monday.

Top court upholds result

DR Congo's top court on Sunday declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the winner of disputed presidential elections after throwing out a legal challenge by the runner-up.

Announcing the final results of the long-awaited poll, the Constitutional Court said Tshisekedi had won by a simple majority, paving the way for him to take over from longterm leader Joseph Kabila.

Runner-up Martin Fayulu immediately called on the international community to reject the results, after the court said his appeal was "unfounded".

"I ask the entire international community not to recognise a power that has neither legitimacy nor legal standing to represent the Congolese people," he said of Tshisekedi, declaring himself "the only legitimate president".

Tshisekedi's victory was first announced earlier this month based on provisional results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) but it was challenged both at home and abroad, with the African Union appealing for the final results to be delayed.

On Sunday the Consitutional Court said Fayulu had failed to prove any inaccuracies.

"Only the CENI has produced authentic and sincere results," Judge Noel Kilomba said.

Tatiana Carayannis, from the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum: the election results have 'sowed the seeds for instability'

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

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