At least 3 dead in DR Congo amid protests over election results

At least 3 dead in DR Congo amid protests over election results 

A billboard of DR Congo’s outgoing President Joseph Kabila burned by supporters of the opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, the leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party, is seen in Limete, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jan. 10, 2019. EPA-EFE/HUGH KINSELLA CUNNINGHAM

Kinshasa, Jan 10 (efe-epa).- At least three people died Thursday during protests over election results that saw an opposition candidate win the polls for the first time in the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Congolese electoral commission earlier in the day named Felix Tshisekedi the provisional winner of the elections held last month.

Meanwhile, police officers reportedly opened fire at a dozen young people while they were trying to attack a police post in the southwestern city of Kikwit, activists said, citing local media sources which did not rule out a higher death toll.

According to the electoral commission, Tshisekedi won 7 million votes compared to fellow opposition leader Martin Fayulu’s 6.3 million and ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary’s 4.3 million.

Voter turnout was 47.56 percent of the country’s 18 million registered voters.

Fayulu rejected the election results in the Central African nation, saying the results do “not reflect the truth of the ballots.”

Candidates have three days to appeal the outcome, with official results expected to be announced toward the end of next week.

Last month, the polls, initially set for Dec. 23, were postponed by a week after a fire destroyed thousands of voting machines and ballot boxes due to be used in Kinshasa.

The presidential elections had been delayed for two years since Joseph Kabila’s term expired as the African country’s electoral commission claimed it was unable to hold elections due to technical difficulties.