KINSASHA, Congo - Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has been declared the surprise winner of Congo's presidential election that happened last month, according to the electoral commission.
If confirmed, these results put Mr. Tshisekedi as the first leader to win the elections since Democratic Republic of Congo gained its independence from Belgium in 1960. In fact, the current president Joseph Kabila had promised the country its first democratic transfer of power after his leadership of 18 years.
In the early hours of Thursday at around 3 a.m. (0200 GMT), the president of the National election commission, Corneille Nangaa announced that Mr. Tshisekedi had won the elections with 38.57% of the votes cast.
Mr. Nangaa said that Mr.Tshisekedi was the provisionally elected president of DR Congo.
According to two diplomats, another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu is likely to contest the results which were anticipated to be announced on Sunday. They said that the votes tallied by the Catholic Church in Congo showed that Mr. Fayulu was the winner of the disorganized Dec. 30 poll.
Mr. Tshisekedi's victory was followed by celebrations in the Kinshasa neighborhood where he resides.