The African Union (AU) has expressed serious doubts about the outcome of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and has called for final results to be suspended.
The initial result announced gave victory to one opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, but another opponent of the current administration, Martin Fayulu, insists he won.
The electoral commission said Mr Tshisekedi had received 38.5% of the vote, compared to 34.7% for Mr Fayulu. Ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Shadary took 23.8%.
However, Mr Fayulu alleges that Mr Tshisekedi made a deal with President Kabila, who has been in office for 18 years.
Supporters of Fayulu say Mr Tshisekedi made a power-sharing deal with outgoing President Joseph Kabila, claims Tshisekedi has denied.
While the Constitutional Court is expected to rule within the next few days on a legal challenge to the result, a number of AU heads of state and government met in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday and released a statement about the deeply disputed 30 December vote.
“There were serious doubts on the conformity of the provisional results, as proclaimed by the National Independent Electoral Commission, with the votes cast,” it read.
“Accordingly, the [AU] called for the suspension of the proclamation of the final results of the elections.”
If confirmed, the election result would create the first orderly transfer of power since DR Congo’s independence from Belgium in 1960.
The Constitutional Court could confirm Mr Tshisekedi’s victory, order a recount, or scrap the results altogether and call fresh elections.