Presidential election in Democratic Republic of Congo: Tshisekedi named winner


Felix Tshisekedi, leader of the main Congolese opposition party, December 30, 2018Copyright of the image


Mr. Tshisekedi is the son of the late leader of the opposition, Etienne Tshisekedi.

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi won the presidential election in the DRC, election officials said.

The announcement made overnight led to accusations of "electoral coup" on the part of the second, Martin Fayulu.

The Catholic Church said the result did not match the data collected by its election observers.

The ruling party, whose candidate finished third, has not yet contested the result, which has led to allegations of power sharing with Tshisekedi.

This is an accusation denied by the team of Mr. Tshisekedi.

If it is confirmed, Mr. Tshisekedi will be the first opponent to win the victory since the independence of DR Congo in 1960. The current president, Joseph Kabila, leaves office after 18 years in office.

The capital Kinshasa and other key cities seemed calm Thursday, but fears remain that the announcement of the result could trigger unrest. The UN chief, Antonio Guterres, called on all parties to refrain from any violence.

How was the result announced?

Corneille Nangaa, chairman of the DRC's National Electoral Commission (CENI), said in the early hours of the day that Tshisekedi won 38.5 percent of the vote in the December 30 elections and was "tentatively proclaimed president-elect. ".

The complete results were, with an apparent participation of 48%:

  • Felix Tshisekedi – 7 million votes
  • Martin Fayulu – 6.4 million votes
  • Emmanuel Shadary – 4.4 million votes

The result can still be disputed.

What was the reaction?

Mr. Tshisekedi promised to be "the president of all Congolese R & D," stating, "No one could have imagined such a scenario in which an opposition candidate would come out victorious".

He had a conciliatory tone with Mr. Kabila when he went to supporters at his party's headquarters at the Union for Democracy and Social Progress in Kinshasa.

"I pay tribute to President Joseph Kabila and today we should not see him as an adversary, but rather as a partner for democratic change in our country," he said.

A spokesman for Mr Shadary, the candidate chosen by Mr Kabila and supposed to win, accepted the defeat, saying "the Congolese people have chosen and democracy has triumphed".

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Martin Fayulu said the results had "nothing to do with the truth"

Fayulu's supporters say this reinforces their suspicions. Mr. Tshisekedi has a power-sharing agreement with Mr. Kabila. Mr. Tshisekedi's spokesman, Louis Ngalamulume's Gold, said that there had "never been a market".

Fergal Keane, BBC's editor for Africa, said that Tshisekedi was considered by many to be the least objectionable opposition candidate for President Kabila and that it was possible -being significant that neither Mr. Kabila nor his party has expressed any objection to this result.

Fayulu, a former oil tycoon, said the results "had nothing to do with the truth".

"The Congolese people will never accept such fraud," he told the BBC, adding, "Felix Tshisekedi never got 7 million votes." Where did he get them? ? "

He said that the electoral commission and the ruling party had dialed the numbers to give victory to Mr. Tshisekedi – their "protégé".

The influence of the Catholic Church, which sent 40,000 observers to monitor the elections, issued a statement on Thursday saying that the election commission's results did not correspond to its own conclusions.

The statement does not nominally mention anyone and urges all parties to respect their civic duty and to refrain from any violence.

Our correspondent, Fergal Keane, said that the Church may have doubted publicly about the results, but would be wary of any public demonstration.

A little earlier, French Foreign Minister Yves Le Drian told CNews: "We need to have some clarification on these results, which are in contrast to our expectations."

Former colonial power, Belgium has also expressed doubts about the result.

Future uncertain

Analysis of Fergal Keane, BBC News, in Kinshasa

Given the deeply polarized nature of politics here, any outcome would leave conflicting legacies.

Whether Mr. Tshisekedi has the intention or ability to challenge Kabila's powerful power over the military, security services and key ministries will determine whether politics has really entered a new era. He has already spoken about working with Mr. Kabila to ensure the success of democracy.

For Fayulu, there are also difficulties. How does he decide to react?

The most likely solution at the moment is to challenge the outcome within the 10-day period allowed to parties under the law. Given the proximity of the vote, his supporters will report irregularities in several areas.

Significantly, the church and civil society called on citizens not to become involved in violence – a recognition of the dangers of street protests while security forces were known for their heaviness.

Why DR Congo is important:

Felix Tshisekedi – his own man

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  • Son of the late Leader of the Opposition Etienne Tshisekedi, deceased in 2017
  • He promised to make the fight against poverty his priority
  • Supported by an opposition agreement to have a candidate for the unit
  • Has made his own ticket with the support of Politician Kamerhe Vital
  • Nicknamed "Fatshi", short for three of his first names Felix Antoine Tshilombo
  • Became the leader of his father's UDPS party in March 2018

What is the background?

DR Congo is a country the size of Western Europe and Mr Kabila had promised his first orderly transfer of power since the independence of Belgium in 1960.

He succeeded his murdered father, Laurent, in 2001.

Elected in 2006, Joseph Kabila got another term in controversial elections in 2011.

He was barred from another term of office under the constitution and was expected to withdraw two years ago, but the elections were postponed after the election commission said it needed more time to register the elections. voters.