Calls for Congo Vote to Be Annulled Mount Amid Fraud Accusations

Opposition leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo have called for the annulment of the results of the recent general election over accusations of fraud, in a dispute that risks plunging the vast and mineral-rich Central African nation into new political turmoil.

Five opposition leaders, including the president’s main challenger, published a statement late Saturday accusing the country’s electoral commission of “massive fraud,” including ballot stuffing, delaying opening polling stations and falsely declaring President Felix Tshisekedi the winner in areas where they say he did not win any votes.

The five leaders — who include Moïse Katumbi, a business tycoon and the president’s closest rival — also called on the head of the commission to resign for “having planned and orchestrated the worst electoral fraud that our country has ever known.”

The results of the elections are being watched closely not only in Africa, but around the world. Congo is Africa’s second-largest nation and home to deep reserves of cobalt, which is vital in making electric cars. And the wrangling over the election’s credibility could fuel unrest in Congo, which is already dealing with an enormous security and humanitarian crisis in its eastern region.

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