The leader of the oldest and largest opposition party in Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi of the Union for Democratic and Social Progress has been on Thursday morning declared winner of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Presidential election of December 30th, 2018 by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Electoral Commission.
The election result which is a record breaking and setting victory which set the stage for the first Democratic power transfer for the Republic of Congo was however, dispelled by the runner up in the polls Martin Fayulu describing it as “a true electoral coup”.
While registering his discontentment with the outcome of the polls, the chief contender Martin Faluyu told Radio France International RFI “The results have nothing to do with the truth of the ballot box”
In October 2016, Tshisekedi became vice secretary general of the UDPS.
On 31 March 2018, he was elected to lead the UDPS, after the death of his father, predecessor and founder of the party, Étienne Tshisekedi, on 1 February 2017.
Also on 31 March 2018,
Tshisekedi was chosen by his party to be the UDPS presidential candidate in the general election that took place on 30 December 2018.
Corneille Nangaa, the president of the election commission (CENI), told a news conference at about 3 a.m. this morning, an appeared timed to shed any immediate reaction in the streets, that Tshisekedi emerged winner with 38.57 percent of more than 18 million ballots cast,
“Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo is declared the provisionally- elected president of Democratic Republic of Congo,” Corneille said, to a groups of cheers and gasps at the CENI headquarters.
The Kinshasa and its environs where the president elect lives, is currently greeted with behemoth crowd of jubilating supporters and also there is a traffic jam in the area of Limete streets in Congo.
Some excited countrymen chanted that “turned the page” on the Kabila era, which began in 1997 when Joseph Kabila’s father, Laurent, led a rebellion that overthrew longtime leader Mobutu Sese Seko. Joseph took over in 2001 when Laurent was assassinated.
Felix Tshisekedi; the USDP man. will become the first leader to assume power at the polls result since Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, who was toppled in a coup less than three months after independence in 1960 and killed four months later, if his victory is constitutionally confirmed in the next ten, 10 days.
The opposition fears that authorities would rig the vote in favour of Kabila’s hand-picked candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, did not come to pass, as the purported Shadary finished a distant third to Tshisekedi and Fayulu, with about 4.4 million votes only to his name.
However, the outcome, is said to have been marred by a spate of irregularities, is certain to fuel further suspicion among Fayulu’s supporters,- observers said, and also alleging that Felix Tshisekedi, was shown by the last opinion polls before the election to be running well behind Fayulu, struck a power-sharing pact with Kabila, the incumbent.
Adding to the tenebrific moments for Martin Fayulu, he was earlier backed by two prominent foes of Kabila, both of whom were barred from standing in the election. Kabila referred to one of them, ex-provincial governor Moise Katumbi, as “Judas” during a recent interview with local press.
Felix Tshisekedi who is a progeny of the legendary Etienne Tshisekedi, had led the opposition to three successive presidents over 35 years. Felix’s profile rose after his father died in 2017, soon after negotiating the terms of a transition period when Kabila refused to step down at the official end of his mandate the previous year.
Losing candidates also have previlege of contestesting Felix Tshisekedi’s victory before Congo’s constitutional court, within the next 10 days, hear and rule on any challenges.
There could be a rising dogfights which may cause unrest especially in the Eastern borders which is the home camp of Faluyu’s supporters, if the perception of the stolen election is giving a widespread leverage.
The Catholic Church’s bishops conference said last week that it knew the identity of the winner and demanded that CENI publish accurate results. The Church did not say who it thought the winner was, but only briefed diplomats on its conclusions.
An issue arose when Authorities cancel voting on election day for more than one million people, positing that voting could not continue due to an outburst of Ebola virus pandemic and militia vices.
Some observes alleged that many polling stations opened late and closed early and in some places voting machines malfunctioned too, which sees the outcome of the election questionable