KINSHASA, Two African presidents have congratulated Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi for winning last month’s presidential poll.

The constitutional court ruled that Tshisekedi had won after rejecting a challenge from rival Martin Fayulu.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa both sent their congratulations.

Ramaphosa called on all parties “to respect the decision of the constitutional court and commit to continue with a journey of consolidating peace”.

The southern African regional group, SADC, has also welcomed Tshisekedi’s victory saying that all Congolese should support the president-elect in his bid to maintain “unity, peace and stability”.

The African Union, which was supposed to send a delegation to the DR Congo on Monday, has now postponed the trip.

On Friday, it had called on the court to refrain from ruling on the result of the vote.

Fayulu, who the electoral commission said was the runner-up in the Dec 30 election, said he was the “legitimate” president, adding that his supporters should organise “non-violent protests all over the country to defend its sovereignty”.

The Constitutional Court said on Jan 20 that Fayulu had failed to prove that the election commission had announced false results.

It went on to declare Felix Tshisekedi “president of the Democratic Republic of Congo by simple majority”.

He is now expected to be sworn in within 10 days.

The electoral commission earlier announced that Tshisekedi had received 38.5% of the vote, compared with 34.7% for Mr Fayulu while ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Shadary took 23.8%.

However, Fayulu had argued that Tshisekedi had struck a deal with Kabila, who has been in office for 18 years.

Kabila was constitutionally ineligible to run for a third consecutive term.

Source: Nam News Network