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Opposition figure Felix Tshisekedi declared President- elect

10.01.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
Today the world applauds the political development in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A high level of political democracy has been exercised in the troubled central African state that had had long history of political unrest. The results of the December 30 elections have brought new hope to the people of the DR Congo. In the early hours of Thursday January 10, the head of the Independent Electoral Commission Corneille Nangaa, released the official elections results, declaring Felix Tshisekedi victor of the Dec 30 polls with a percentage of 38.57%. The results puts Mr. Tshisekedi ahead of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary (Kabila’s preferred candidate) and Martin Fayulu, another strong opposition in the mineral rich nation. According to the electoral commission, the overall turnout stood at 49%.

STATISTICS

Even though some 21 candidates contested the presidency, it was a tight race between two strong opposition figures Felix Tshisekedi, Martin Fayulu and one ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

  • Felix Tshisekedi – over 7 million votes, 38.57%
  • Martin Fayulu- over 6 million votes,34.83%
  • Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary-4.4 million votes, 23.84%

Addressing his supporters of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party headquarters in Kinshasa  the President-elect Felix Tshisekedi  vowed to be a president of “all Congolese’’ , hailing outgoing president Joseph Kabila for demonstrating democracy and meeting the expectations of the Congolese people.  He described Kabila as ‘’ an adversary, but rather, a partner in democratic change in our country.”  On the other hand, Martin Fayulu has challenged the vote result claiming that it doesn’t reflect the will of the people.  In the meantime, the constitutional court of the DR Congo has 14 days to validate the provisional results of the landmark December 30 elections. This will however mark the first democratic transfer of power since the country gained independence from Belgium in 1960.  Joseph Kabila had promised to instill Democracy in the Country through elections.  Last elections were conducted in 2016. It should also be noted that the DR Congo has seen series of election postponement since 2016, when Kabila’s mandate culminated.

WHO IS FELIX TSHISEKEDI

Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo popularly known as Felix Tshisekedi is the son of late opposition figure of the Democratic Republic of Congo Etienne Tshisekedi.  He was born on 13 June 1963 in Kinshasa to Etienne Tshisekedi and Marthe Tshisekedi. Today, the 55 year old Felix Tshisekedi stands as the leader of the country’s oldest political party Union for democracy and social progress party UDSP and president elect of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Political Career

Felix Tshisekedi’s political career became known in 2008 when his father’s UDPS party named him as the party’s National secretary for external relations.

-In November 2011: he gained a seat in the National Assembly, representing the city of Mbuji Mayi in Kasai-oriental province. His inactiveness l=saw the end of his mandate

-In May 2013, he rejected another important position of rapporteur at the independent national electoral commission CENI

– October 2016, Tshisekedi emerged as the vice secretary general of the UDPS

His political exposure became high when the main opposition party the union for democratic and social progress on 31 March 2018, elected him to lead the UDPS, after the demise of his father Etienne Tshisekedi on 1 February 2017.

Also on 31 March 2018, Tshisekedi was chosen by his party to be the UDPS Presidential hopeful in the historic 30 December 2018 general election.

Though some election observers cited irregularities in December 30 polls, many people have hailed the outcome of the elections. Many challenges awaits the President elect as he now has a daunting task of meeting the aspirations of Congolese and revamping the economy of the mineral rich nation and one of Africa’s most populous nation with a total population of 85,407,145.  A new era of Hope for the central African Nation.

After years of postponement, the administration of outgoing president joseph Kabila validated the holding of elections that would affect change in the leadership of the DR Congo.  After several postponement of the vote since 2016, with justifiable reasons, the country’s National election commission CENI settled on December 30, 2018 as the Election Day.

Given the fact that elections were last conducted in 2011, anxiety was very high among citizens to witness a great political event in their country.  According to some statistics over 40 million Congolese registered for the 2018 landmark polls, the vote was to mark the first democratic transfer of power in Kabila’s land. About 75.000 polling stations and 105,000 voting machines were made available for the vote.

It was a tight race between twenty –one (21) contenders. However the vote was contested by three strong politician including Kabila’s loyalist, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, Felix Tshisekedi, president of the DR Congo’s largest opposition party, and opposition businessperson Martin Fayulu. In spite of incidence of vandalism that destroyed voting materials, CENI worked relentlessly for the nation to head to the polls on December 30, 2018.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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