The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) on Friday urged Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) political parties, election candidates and their supporters to exercise restraint while the dispute over the outcome of the December 30 presidential poll is being resolved.
Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, President Edgar Lungu of Zambia, welcomed the release of the provisional results of the combined presidential, legislative and provincial elections held on 30 December 2018 in the DRC.
In a statement, Lungu congratulated the government of the DRC, all political stakeholders and the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Congolese people for conducting generally peaceful elections.
Lungu further took note of the disputes that have arisen following announcement of the results and encouraged all concerned stakeholders “to remain calm and act in a way that consolidates democracy and preserves peace.”
He called upon all stakeholders with concerns, including regarding the accuracy of the results, to pursue any disputes peacefully “through avenues provided by the existing national legal framework, and resolve their differences through political dialogue among all stakeholders.”
He reaffirmed SADC’s commitment to continue assisting the DRC with respect to neutralising the negative forces and other armed groups operating in the east of the country.
DRC's electoral commission on Thursday declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the winner of last month's chaotic presidential election, but the runner-up Martin Fayulu is contesting the outcome as “a fraud”.