KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Incumbent President Joseph Kabila was declared the winner Friday in the Democratic Republic of Congo election, officials said, raising fears of more violence.
Kabila defeated his nearest rival, Etienne Tshisekedi, by 15 percentage points, Congo's electoral commission said, but The New York Times reported Tshisekedi has rejected the preliminary results, claiming the election was fraudulent.
Kabila, who has been in power since 2001 and was first elected in 2006.
Tshisekedi has strong backing in the capital of Kinshasa, with nearly 10 million people, many of whom feared Kabila's victory would lead to violence.
The Times said Tshisekedi has suggested he might urge followers he calls "fighters" to take to the streets to contest the results of the election, held more than a week ago.
At least 18 people have been killed in violence linked to the voting, which foreign observers say had been poorly managed by Congo election officials who oversaw 63,000 polling places.
Observers pointed to significant procedural problems, including missing ballots and polling stations that did not open, but did not go so far as calling the vote fraudulent.