Congo Constitutional Court begins election appeal hearing

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo’s Constitutional Court has begun hearing an appeal against the presidential election results lodged by opposition candidate Martin Fayulu.

Lawyers represented both Fayulu and the declared winner Felix Tshisekedi at the court Tuesday. Election commission representatives also attended. The court must rule on the appeal by Saturday.

Fayulu filed a court challenge demanding a recount, claiming that he won the presidential race with 61 percent of the vote, according to results compiled by the influential Catholic Church’s 40,000 election observers.

Fayulu charges that the results were falsified to declare Tshisekedi the winner, although he came in a distant second place according to the Catholic Church’s results.

Congo’s electoral commission has said Tshisekedi won 38 percent of the vote and Fayulu 34 percent.

Regional bodies have suggested a vote recount.

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