Officials of the electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has said that the results of last week’s presidential election in the country will not be released on Sunday, despite growing calls for the outcome to be announced.
A spokesperson for the head of the electoral commission, said it was because less than half the ballots had been collected, according to the BBC, saying a meeting would be held over the delay.
The Catholic Church, which fielded thousands of observers, said on Thursday, that there was a clear winner.
It called for the result to be made public to avoid political unrest.
The statement has reportedly drawn an angry response from the coalition in power, which said the church was “doing something illegal” and accused it of “preparing the population for insurrection”.
The Church had been vocal opposition to the extension of President Joseph Kabila’s rule.
Kabila is stepping down after 17 years in office and, has promised Congo its first peaceful transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.
The official result was supposed to be announced on Sunday, although the electoral commission had warned a few days ago this could be delayed.
Corneille Nangaa , head of the commission, said on Saturday that less than half of all the votes had been counted.
“It is not possible to publish the results on Sunday. We are making progress, but we do not have everything yet.” No date for the announcement was given.
On Thursday, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (Cenco),which deployed almost 40,000 election observers for the election, said there was a clear winner based on its tally of the votes.
They did not name anyone, but urged election officials “to publish the election results in keeping with truth and justice”.
The ruling FCC (Common Front for the Congo) has stated that only the electoral commission is officially allowed to announce results.