Democratic Republic of Congo yesterday rejected an African Union demand to delay announcing final results from its presidential election, compounding the turmoil surrounding a chaotic vote that many fear could fan widespread unrest.
In a surprise announcement on Thursday, the AU called for the results to be postponed because of "serious doubts" over the conduct of the election, which was supposed to mark Congo's first democratic handover of power in 59 years of independence but which the runner-up candidate says was rigged.
The final tally will be released once the Constitutional Court has ruled on challenges to the provisional results. It was expected to decide on appeals, including that of opposition leader and second-placed Martin Fayulu, yesterday or today.
"I do not think anyone has the right to tell the court what to do. I am not under the impression (the AU) fully understands Congo's judicial process," government spokesman Lambert Mende said. "No country in the world can accept that its judicial process be controlled by an (outside) organisation."
The AU's statement said it would send a delegation to Congo to seek "a way out of the post-electoral crisis". The mission will include Rwandan President and AU chair Paul Kagame, Moussa Faki, chairman of the AU Commission, and other heads of state.