Felix Tshisekedi called for national reconciliation while succeeding Joseph Kabila as Democratic Republic of Congo’s president, in a first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence.
“We want to build a strong Congo, turned toward its development in peace and security,” he said to thousands of supporters gathering on the lawn of the presidential palace. “A Congo for all, in which everyone has a place.”
The inaugural ceremony was briefly interrupted when Tshisekedi had a spell of dizziness during his inaugural address and had to sit down. However he returned to the podium moments after a brief pause, saying he was exhausted by the election and the emotion of the moment. Some media reported there was a problem of bulletproof vest, being fixed too tight.
Felix Tshisekedi is declared by the Constitutional Court as an ultimate winner of the December presidential elections in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) dismissing a claim from supported by the Catholic Church candidate Martin Fayulu who rejected the result of the vote, and announced himself a president elect.
The supporters Tshisekedi were celebrating the court decision in the streets of Kinshasa. Fayulu blames the incumbent President Joseph Kabila an engineered scam deal between him and Tshisekedi.
Both incumbent President Kabila and Tshisekedi’s representatives dismissed any secret dealings . The president of the constitutional court, Benoit Luamba, rejected the claims of a self-proclaimed winner as “inadmissible.”
Felix Tshisekedi is a son of legendary left opposition leader late Etienne Tshisekedi, and founder of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) one of the major political forces in Congo.
The runner-up in the Democratic Republic of Congo‘s long-awaited presidential poll Martin Fayulu (62) denounced the results as an “electoral coup“.
These results have nothing to do with the truth at the ballot box,” Fayulu told Radio France International (RFI).”It’s a real electoral coup, it’s incomprehensible.”
The leader and founder of Engagement for Citizenship and Development party established in 2009 with two other MPs, Fayulu, a former Exxon Mobile top manager, is the favorite the influential Congo Catholic church.
“They have stolen the victory of the Congolese people, and the Congolese people will never accept that their victory is stolen,” Fayulu said.
He called “all those who observed the elections” to “tell us the truth, publish the results”. “We can not keep quiet, it’s a scam, it’s a joke that we can not accept today,” he insisted.
Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral commission declared opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi the winner of last month’s presidential election, but the runner-up contested the outcome as an “electoral coup”.
The result sets the stage for Congo’s first democratic transfer of power, however in a tense political standoff.
Tshisekedi won with 38.57% of more than 18 million ballots cast, Corneille Nangaa, the president of the election commission (CENI), told a news conference at 3 a.m. (0200 GMT) timed in the middle of the night to reduce street protests of frustrated losers.
Felix is son to late Étienne Tshisekedi the long-standing opposition leader, founder of the left-wing Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), the major opposition party. On 31 March 2018, Felix Tshisekedi was elected at the head of the UDPS, becoming a political heir of his father after his death.
AMENDED: The UDPS party thanked all the supporters and declared the victory of its candidate as “a victory for the Congolese people“.
AMENDMENT: The Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations:
“The Secretary-General calls on all stakeholders to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms in line with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Constitution and relevant electoral laws.
“The Secretary-General expresses the hope that the CENI, the Constitutional Court, the Government, political parties and civil society will each live up to their responsibility in preserving stability and upholding democratic practices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
Envoys of a leading Congolese presidential candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, have met with incumbent President Joseph Kabila’s staff to ensure a peaceful transfer of power, Tshisekedi’s aids said.
President Kabila’s staff, however, denied that any such meetings had occurred since the December 30 election, for which provisional results are expected to be announced later this week.
The election is meant to bring about Congo’s first democratic transition in 59 years of independence, but tensions are mounting as some in the opposition leaders accuse the government of trying to rig the vote.
Since the end of 2018 a prominent Belgium politician, Louis Michel has been attacked by Congolese opponents and received several letters containing death threats, media reports. (Image: archive).
“I have received several threatening letters, I have refused close protection but I am under surveillance, I do not want to say more,” said Louis Michel, the Member of the European parliament (MEP), former European Commissioner and father of the incumbent Prime Minister.
The threats launch started on December 10, in Oslo, during the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize to Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, after which a dozen Congolese opponents of the Union pour la Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) movement attacked the politician.
During the month of December, Louis Michel again received letters containing explicit death threats at his home in Jodoigne.
The MEP complained and the case was taken seriously by the State Security who offered him close protection. As he confirms himself, he has not accepted it but he has been under discreet surveillance ever since.
Polls taken over the last decade indicate that roughly 75% of Congolese population self identify as members of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).
From 1908 until independence in 1960 the Congo used to be a colony of Kingdom of Belgium. The former colony adopted its name – the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1964.
Polling stations opened in Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, December 30, for a presidential election that is meant to lead to the country’s first democratic transfer of power.
Due to the time difference, voting started an hour earlier in eastern parts of the country. The last polls are scheduled to close at 1700 (1600 GMT), although voting will continue for those still in line.
President Joseph Kabila, ruling since his father’s assassination in 2001, is due to step down after the vote in a milestone change for a country suffering from authoritarian rule, coups and civil wars since independence from Belgium in 1960.
Kabila’s agreement to respect the constitutional term limits should represent progress for Congo and the continent.
Critics say the vote will be plagued by fraud, and that Kabila could continue to rule via his close allies. Formally he can also come back again for presidency in 2023.
There are reports of high turnout of the electorate in different places.
The citizens of areas excluded for Ebols risks decided to organise their own plebiscite, in spite of exclusion.