Representatives of a leading Congolese presidential candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, have met with outgoing President Joseph Kabila’s camp to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, Tshisekedi’s campaign said on Tuesday.
Kabila’s camp, however, denied that any such meetings had occurred since the Dec. 30 election, for which provisional results are expected to be announced later this week.
The election is meant to bring about Congo’s first democratic transition in 59 years of independence, but tensions are rising as some in the opposition accuse the government of trying to rig the vote.
Tshisekedi ran against Kabila’s hand-picked candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, and another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu, whom pre-election polls showed with a healthy lead.
Media reports of contacts between Tshisekedi and Kabila’s camps have drawn the suspicion of some Fayulu supporters. They fear Kabila may be looking to negotiate a power-sharing agreement with Tshisekedi if, as most diplomats believe, Shadary trails in the results.
At a news conference, the secretary-general of Tshisekedi’s political party, the UDPS, said that contacts between the two camps were conducive to national reconciliation and that the UDPS “is opposed to any policy of score-settling”.
“The two individuals (Kabila and Tshisekedi) have an interest in meeting to prepare for the peaceful and civilised transfer of power,” Jean-Marc Kabund said.
Last week, the bishops said they knew the winner of the election, a declaration widely seen as a warning to authorities against rigging the vote.