Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi wins Congo's presidential election - election board

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FILE PHOTO: Felix Tshisekedi, leader of the Congolese main opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), and a presidential candidate, shows a victory sign after casting his ballot at a polling station in Kinshasa

FILE PHOTO: Felix Tshisekedi, leader of the Congolese main opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), and a presidential candidate, shows a victory sign after casting his ballot at a polling station in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, December 30, 2018. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe/File Photo

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo's electoral commission on Thursday declared opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi the winner of the Dec. 30 presidential election.

The result could lead to Congo's first democratic transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960, though election observers reported a number of irregularities during the polls and the opposition said it was marred by fraud.

Losing candidates, who include businessman Martin Fayulu and ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, can contest the results before Congo's constitutional court, which has 10 days to hear and rule on any challenges.

(Reporting By Giulia Paravicini; Writing by Edward McAllister; Editing by Aaron Ross)