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Vote tallies compiled by Democratic Republic of Congo's Catholic Church contradict official presidential results released by the election commission on Thursday, two diplomats said.

He further said: "To all those who learned of the truth of the ballot boxes, especially to the Congo's National Bishops' Episcopal Conference, CENCO, and the Church of Congo, LCC, through your historical observations, we ask you to reveal to the Congolese people and to the whole world the name of the person who really was our people's choice".

Diplomatic sources said the tallies pointed to Fayulu as the victor, although the church via its Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENCO) itself did not name a presumed victor.

The statement says South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Zambian President Edgar Lungu warn that the delay in releasing results "can lead to suspicions and compromise peace and stability of the country".

The announcement of DRC's 30 December election results will likely be delayed to March or April (while four excluded localities vote), effectively extending the administration of incumbent President Joseph Kabila through this period. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

The presidents of South Africa and Zambia are urging Congo's electoral commission to "speedily" complete vote-counting and announce the delayed results of the December 30 presidential election. "Because today the boss is Kabila", Mr Fayulu said.

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About 40% of DR Congo's population is Roman Catholic and the church has a wide network of schools and hospitals.

The delayed results came after worldwide pressure to announce an outcome that reflected the will of the people.

Fayulu is backed by former Katanga governor Moise Katumbi, considered a traitor by Kabila, and ex-warlord and former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba. The United States threatened sanctions against officials who rigged the vote.

"If Fayulu and his allies, with their own independent security and financial networks, had taken power they would have changed the power structure of Congo and definitively ousted Kabila and his clan", said Patrick Smith of the newsletter Africa Confidential. In a last-minute decision, some 1 million of the country's 40 million voters were barred from participating, with the electoral commission blaming a deadly Ebola virus outbreak.

The government has cut internet service since the day after the election to prevent speculation on social media about who won, and blocked some radio stations.

Congolese riot police takes position near the electoral commission building in Kinshasa, Congo, Wednesday Jan. 9, 2019. "They have stolen the Congolese people's victory and the people will never accept that", said Fayulu, an oil tycoon whose platform had been focused on tackling corruption in the former Belgian colony.

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Residents of the capital, Kinshasa, said the heavy security presence was a bad sign, with some recalling the violence that followed past disputed elections.

Many Congolese objected to Shadary, suspecting that he would allow Kabila to continue to rule from behind the scenes and protect his vast assets.

A two-year wait for a new leader is coming to an end in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but already a post-election crisis is brewing.

Election officials announced that opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi won the election. He was less visible in campaigning than Fayulu and did not make himself available to reporters after the vote.

"I deplore all the disorder", Tshisekedi said.

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