10 January 2019

Congo-Kinshasa: Tshisekedi Wins DRC Presidential Race but SA Still Mum On Result

analysis

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was announced the winner of the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential elections. This could represent the first smooth handover of power in the DRC's history, or a very clever fix by outgoing president Joseph Kabila - and South Africa's reaction to this is important.

DRC voters woke up on Thursday morning - or many would have stayed awake to hear the 3am announcement first-hand - to a new president-elect, the 55-year-old Felix Tshisekedi, Union for Democracy and Social Progress. Many were celebrating, like deputy secretary-general of the party Rubens Mikindo, who, Al Jazeera reports, told cheering supporters in front of the party's headquarters that "this is the coronation of a lifetime" and: "This is the beginning of national reconciliation."

Tshisekedi, son of the late Étienne, the face of the DRC's opposition for many years, won 38.57 of the vote in the December 30 presidential elections, or seven million votes, while another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu, who was the frontrunner in the polls, received 6.4 million votes. Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who was favoured by outgoing president Joseph Kabila, got 4.4-million votes. Fayulu rejected the result, which bodes ill for the credibility of the election, and perhaps also...

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