The African Union on Thursday called on Democratic Republic of Congo to suspend the release of the final results of its disputed presidential election due to its doubts over the provisional results. The rare move from the group injects fresh uncertainty into the post-election process, which was meant to usher in the country’s first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence, but has been mired in controversy since the Dec. 30 vote. The final tally is scheduled to be released by the election commission once the constitutional court has ruled on challenges to the provisional results on Friday, but the union called for this to be postponed following a meeting in Addis Ababa.
“The Heads of State and Government attending the meeting concluded that there were serious doubts on the conformity of the provisional results as proclaimed by the National Independent Electoral Commission, with the verdict of the ballot boxes,” it said in a statement.
A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the decision was unprecedented. “I cannot remember another instance where the AU called for a suspension of certification of results.”