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Kampala- President Museveni last October met with Felix Tshisekedi, the president-elect of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a tell tale sign of the already established working relationship between Kampala and the government-in-waiting in Kinshasa. "Happy for the people of Congo".

But his opposition rival Martin Fayulu immediately cried foul, branding the results "an electoral coup".

Kabila's choice of successor fuelled accusations that the long-time leader who concerned about possible retribution, would use Shadary to protect his interests after the vote. He then formed an alliance with Vital Kamerhe, the leader of another major opposition party who finished third in the previous presidential election.

Mr Nshole urged all Congolese to remain peaceful and said those who challenge the official results should do so within the legal framework and without violence.

If the result, is confirmed, it would create the first orderly transfer of power in DR Congo since independence from Belgium in 1960.

Nevertheless, CENCO said the unofficial results it tallied did not correspond to those announced by the electoral commission.

Long in the shadow of his father, the late opposition leader Etienne, Mr Tshisekedi startled DR Congo a year ago by breaking away from the unified opposition candidate Mr Fayulu to stand on his own. "They have stolen the Congolese people's victory and the people will never accept that".

The result could still be appealed in the Constitutional Court.

"How long are we going to negotiate results?" he asked.

Tshisekedi's supporters celebrated his victory. The centre monitored the elections and has since announced that its tally differs from the official results as released by the election commission.

"It really seems that the declared results... are not consistent with the true results", Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told CNews television.

The announcement of an opposition win was a shock as many had expected the results to be stacked in Shadary's favour, prompting heavy global pressure on Kinshasa to respect the wishes of the electorate. The United States threatened sanctions against officials who rigged the vote.

Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, one of Congolese President Joseph Kabila's top advisors, accepted on Thursday the loss of the ruling party's preferred candidate in a contentious election.

Dozens of polling centres opened hours late as materials went missing.

"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. The government has deployed riot police and other security forces in some sections of the capital, Kinshasa, but the city was reported to be largely peaceful on Thursday.

Mr Kabila has ruled since 2001 in the troubled nation rich in the minerals key to smartphones around the world and has amassed vast wealth.

He is the head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), a party founded by his father Etienne who spent decades as the country's main opposition leader but died in February past year.

His father, Etienne Tshisekedi, founded the UDPS in 1982 as Congo's first opposition party and built into the country's largest.