After the postponement of the proclamation of provisional results from Sunday to Thursday, Felix Tshisekedi has been declared early this morning to be the winner of the presidential election. The leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s main opposition party succeed Joseph Kabila whose second mandate expired two years ago. It is the first electoral transfer of power since independence of the DRC six decades ago. However, the decision dampened hopes that the transition would be peaceful.
Indeed, the result has come as a surprise to many observers who believed that the candidate of the ruling party, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, would be the victor of the election. He was hand-picked by Kabila to succeed him. Additionally, Martin Fayulu, another opposition candidate, was the outspoken opposition frontrunner from the pre-election polls with 47%. According to the DRC’s Catholic church, vote tallies revealed that Fayulu won the elections. Mr. Fayulu rejected the official results and called them an “electoral swindle”. Supporters of Fayulu have already protested in Kisangani (north-east) against the results proclaimed. Antonio Guterres, the United Nations secretary general urged all parties to “refrain from violence and (…) to channel any electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms”. It is initially planned that the Constitutional Court will confirm the official results on January 15th. However, with the postponement of the proclamation of provisional results, it can still be delayed.
Laura van Lerberghe
For further information :
- The New York Times, « Congo Says Felix Tshisekedi Won Election, Rebuffing Independent Review” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/09/world/africa/congo-election-result.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FCongo&action=click&contentCollection=world®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection
- The Guardian, “Congo election: opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi declared surprise winner”, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/10/congo-election-felix-tshisekedi-declared-winner-in-contentious-result
- Le Monde, “Présidentielle en RDC : Paris met en doute la conformité des résultats proclamés”, https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2019/01/10/presidentielle-en-rdc-la-proclamation-commence-le-suspense-dure-toujours_5407031_3212.html