Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won the Democratic Republic of Congo’s tightly contested presidential vote, the electoral commission says.
The provisional result puts him ahead of rival opposition candidate Martin Fayulu who has denounced it as a fraud. France has also questioned the outcome.
If confirmed, Mr Tshisekedi will be the first opposition challenger to win since the DR Congo gained independence.
Current President Joseph Kabila is stepping down after 18 years in office.
DR Congo is a country the size of Western Europe and Mr Kabila had promised its first orderly transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.
The election outcome was initially expected to be announced on Sunday. The interim result can still be challenged.
In the early hours of Thursday the head of DR Congo’s National Electoral Commission (Ceni), Corneille Nangaa, said Mr Tshisekedi had received 38.5% of the vote and had been “provisionally declared the elected president”.
The full results were, with turnout reportedly 48%:
- Felix Tshisekedi – 7 million votes
- Martin Fayulu – 6.4 million votes
- Emmanuel Shadary – 4.4 million votes