DR Congo’s opposition leader to be sworn in

Source:AFP Published: 2019/1/23 22:08:41

Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi will be sworn in on Thursday as DR Congo's next president, sources said in Kinshasa, ending uncertainty about when the ceremony would take place.

The inauguration will take place at the Palace of the Nation, the seat of the presidency, starting at noon (1100 GMT), aides to Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila said on Wednesday.

It will be the first peaceful transition of power in the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Tshisekedi, 55, will be taking the helm from Kabila who at only 47 has ruled the vast country for 18 years, succeeding his father Laurent-Desire, who was assassinated in 2001.

Tshisekedi was declared winner of the thrice-delayed election with 38.5 percent of the vote, while Martin Fayulu, who also comes from the opposition, was credited with 34.8 percent.

Fayulu says he was winner, with 61 percent of the ballot, against 18 percent each for Tshisekedi and Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari, who was Kabila's preferred candidate.

He has angrily characterised the official result as an "electoral coup" cooked up by Kabila and Tshisekedi.

But he lost a challenge to the Constitutional Court, and foreign support for his position has waned, mainly to avoid the bloody confrontations that have marked the DRC's history.

The sprawling country suffered two regional wars in 1996-97 and 1998-2003, and the last two presidential elections, in 2006 and 2011, were marred by deadly clashes.

Tshisekedi is the son of the late veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who died in February 2017, aged 84.



Posted in: AFRICA

blog comments powered by Disqus