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.
Residents of the capital, Kinshasa, said the heavy security presence was a bad sign, with some recalling the violence that followed past disputed elections.
The runner-up, opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, has accused Mr Tshisekedi of reaching a power-sharing deal with the ruling party.
Tshisekedi's margin over Fayulu was less than 700,000 votes, according to the official results.
An outspoken campaigner against Congo's widespread graft - it ranked 161th among 180 countries in Transparency International's latest index - Fayulu denounced the official results as "robbery".
Felix Tshisekedi's victory was a shock result, after polls that put him 20 points behind the opposition frontrunner Martin Fayulu.
The machines were the focus of much concern, with the opposition and observers saying they could open the door to manipulating results.
Election officials announced that opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi won the election.
Fellow opposition candidate Fayulu who was backed by former Katanga governor Moise Katumbi - considered a traitor by Kabila - and ex-warlord and former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba, had also sounded a conciliatory tone.
If Tshisekedi's victory is confirmed in the next 10 days by the constitutional court, he will become the first leader to take power at the ballot box since Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, who was toppled in a coup less than three months after independence in 1960 and killed four months later.
His choice of successor fuelled accusations that the long-time leader - concerned about possible retribution -would use close ally Shadary to protect his interests after the vote.
Emmanuel Shadary: Kabila's "hardline" choice - an ex-interior minister who is under European Union sanctions for alleged human rights violations in deadly crackdowns on protests. He added: "The Catholic Church of Congo did its tally and announced completely different results".
Kabila has ruled since 2001 in the troubled nation rich in the minerals key to smartphones around the world. He is barred from serving three consecutive terms, but during more than two years of election delays many Congolese feared he'd find a way to stay in office.
"This is the coronation of a lifetime", the deputy secretary-general of Tshisekedi's party, Rubens Mikindo, said above the cheers at party headquarters. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation". He was a vocal activist during the two-year delay in Congo's election, insisting it was time for Kabila to go.
Many Congolese had objected to Shadary, suspecting that Kabila would continue to rule from behind the scenes.
Tshisekedi, the head of the country's largest opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (Udps) told a crowd of supporters on Thursday that Kabila should no longer be seen as an adversary, "but rather, a partner in democratic change in our country".
Tshisekedi inherited the leadership of the UDPS party when his father, Etienne, died in 2017.
During his campaign he promised a return to the rule of law, to fight the "gangrene" of corruption and to bring peace to the east.
But French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said Tshisekedi's victory contrasted with observations in the field.