Congo opposition candidate declares himself president, defies constitutional court

Martin Fayulu, an oppositional candidate in the Congolese presidential elections, has declared himself the “only legitimate president” of Congo after the country’s constitutional court rejected his challenge to the result as “inadmissible.” The court also ruled against his request to conduct a recount. Earlier this month, Congo’s electoral commission declared Felix Tshisekedi, a candidate from the largest opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, a winner despite calls from western observers and the African Union to postpone the publication of the results, citing “serious doubts” about their validity. Fayulu, who lost by less than 4 percent of the vote, called his opponent’s victory an “electoral coup” plotted by the outgoing President Joseph Kabila together with Tshisekedi. Fayulu,  leader of the Engagement for Citizenship and Development party, was a joint candidate chosen by seven oppositional leaders in run-up to the election.