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DR Congo: Catholic Church says official results don't match its tally

Catholic bishops arrive for a meeting to sign a political agreement between the government and opposition in Kinshasa on 1 January 2017.
Catholic bishops arrive for a meeting to sign a political agreement between the government and opposition in Kinshasa on 1 January 2017. Photo: Junior D Kannah/AFP

The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo has said that its unofficial tallies for the country’s contentious elections do not match the official announcement by the electoral commission. However, it welcomed the official results as leading to the country’s first handover of power since 2001.

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“We take note of the publication of provisional results for the presidential elections, which for the first time in our recent history, open the way to an alternative,” said a statement from the Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO), seen by RFI.

Nevertheless, CENCO said the unofficial results it tallied did not correspond to those announced by the electoral commission.

CENCO had some 40,000 election observers deployed at polling stations across the country. And its unofficial results were highly anticipated given previous statements claiming that it indeed knew who the Congolese people had chosen as president.

“We urge everyone to show civic maturity and especially to avoid any recourse to violence,” said the CENCO statement.

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