Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Martin Fayulu on Saturday asked the country’s constitutional court to order a recount of the Dec. 30 presidential vote to find a successor to President Joseph Kabila. The Central African nation is still reeling from the surprise announcement Wednesday that another opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, had won the election. Mr. Kabila’s handpicked candidate came in third. Police and members of Mr. Kabila’s presidential guard on Saturday blocked many supporters of Mr. Fayulu from reaching the constitutional court, where his lawyers entered a petition for a manual recount of the presidential election. “I will take this to the very end. I won’t accept that my victory is stolen,” Mr. Fayulu said.
At least 12 people died this week in clashes between supporters of Messrs. Fayulu, Tshisekedi and security forces, according to the local U.N. peacekeeping mission, which has warned of the potential of more violence. Most internet services and text messaging remained shut off for a 13th day.
The official vote count has been denounced by Congo’s powerful Catholic Church, which had some 40,000 observers monitoring polling stations and ballot-compilation centers across the vast, resource-rich former Belgian colony.