Presidents of Zambia and South Africa hold talks over DRC

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The Congolese capital of Kinshasa is reported relatively quiet early Thursday morning as the nation's electoral commission waited until the wee hours to declare opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the provisional victor of last month's long-delayed presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party said on Tuesday that a meeting with its leader Felix Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila was being prepared to prepare for the handover of power.

Spokesmen for Shadary and the other top opposition candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, have indicated that their candidates won. Some observers have suggested that President Joseph Kabila's government sought to make a deal as hopes faded for a win for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

The other main opposition candidate, former oil executive Martin Fayulu came second, official results showed.

In an interview with Radio France International, Fayulu denounced what he called an electoral coup.

They would be deployed if needed to protect United States citizens and diplomatic facilities in DR Congo's capital, Kinshasa, he said.

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The choice fuelled accusations that Kabila - concerned about possible retribution - would use Shadary to protect his interests after the vote.

Congo's powerful Catholic Church has said it found a clear victor from data compiled by its 40,000 observers deployed to all polling stations.

He blamed the delay on opposition parties' insistence that results be counted by hand and not transmitted electronically via voting machines, which Congo used for the first time.

Losing candidates can contest the results before the country's constitutional court. Kabila has promised a peaceful transition of power.

Tshisekedi "is provisionally proclaimed elected as president", CENI President Corneille Nangaa said.

Shouts of joy erupted at the commission's offices as the historic results were announced.

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Congolese activist groups have urged people to "be ready to massively take to the streets" if the commission does not publish results in accordance with "the truth of the ballot boxes".

Mr Nangaa, who has given no date for when provisional or final results would emerge, has said people need to be patient amid rising tensions over the delay.

Attention now turns to Congo's powerful Catholic church, which has said its 40,000 election observers at all polling stations found a "clear winner" but was barred by electoral regulations from saying more.

After several days of intense speculation on the outcome of the DRC's presidential elections, the country's election board, CENI, proclaimed Felix Tshisekedi the victor.

Early Thursday, the electoral commission announced that Tshisekedi had won. As the electoral commission met this week, anti-riot police moved into place outside.

"Mr. Kabila is a Congolese citizen". He is known as the "people's soldier" for leading protests against President Kabila. About 18.3 million votes were cast, representing turnout of nearly 48 percent.

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