Vote counting in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s parliamentary elections has been halted, the election commission has said. It said it needed international help to complete counting following allegations of rigging in the 28 November polls. More than 18,000 candidates contested 500 parliamentary seats.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi plans to inaugurate himself as president on Friday after rejecting the incumbent Joseph Kabila’s victory. These were the first elections organised by the election commission since the end of the war in 2003 – the first poll in 2006 was held under the auspices of the UN.
Mr Kabila was sworn in for a second term on Tuesday after being declared the official winner of the president poll, also held on 28 November.
But Mr Tshisekedi said he was robbed of victory and has planned his inauguration at Martyrs Stadium in the capital, Kinshasa, for Friday.
Western observers denounced the presidential results as seriously flawed, but the commission – backed by the African Union – hailed the polls a success.
The BBC’s Thomas Hubert in Kinshasa says several election agents have been arrested for allegedly trying to rig the parliamentary results.
The US-based campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) says police have killed at least 24 people since the disputed polls.