Published: Fri, January 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Congo-Kinshasa: Tshisekedi's Victory in the DRC Is Historic - but Controversial

Congo-Kinshasa: Tshisekedi's Victory in the DRC Is Historic - but Controversial

Careful statements by the global community did not congratulate Tshisekedi, merely taking note of official results and urging peace and stability in a country with little of it. Observers appeared to be watching for the reactions of Fayulu's supporters.

More than one million people were kept from voting on election day on December 30 because of an Ebola outbreak and militia violence in opposition strongholds mainly in the east of the country. The Church did not say who it thought the victor was, but briefed diplomats on its conclusions.

An official from the United Nations' peacekeeping operations said Tshisekedi's win might lead to some temporary calm.

"I will do whatever is possible for me to do to get the truth because the Congolese want change", he said.

The French government is among those casting doubt on the credibility of the election results.

"We must have clarity on these results, which are the opposite of what we expected, " Le Drian told CNews.

Some observers suggested that President Joseph Kabila's government made a deal with Tshisekedi to declare him the victor, as hopes faded for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who received just 23 percent of the official results. Some observers said the barred voters could have made the difference.

Fayulu, who has denounced the result as an "electoral coup", is not a "fils de" ("son of") like Tshisekedi and many other dynastic politicians across the continent.

The result is certain to fuel further suspicion that Tshisekedi, who the last opinion polls before the election showed was well behind Fayulu, struck a power-sharing pact with Kabila.

The electoral commission (CENI) announced on Tuesday evening that it had initiated "a series of evaluation meetings and deliberations, at the end of which it will proceed to the publication of provisional results from the presidential election". Some protest violence was reported in Kikwit, a Fayulu stronghold, where police said three people were killed.

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Beijing has only given vague details about the detention of the two Canadians, and hasn't drawn a direct link to Meng's arrest. In comparison, there are nearly 900 Canadians in a similar situation in the United States, the official added.

The defeated opposition candidate in DR Congo's presidential election has vowed to challenge the result in court. "In 2006, Jean-Pierre Bemba's victory was stolen, in 2011 Étienne Tshisekedi's victory was stolen".

DR Congo is a country the size of Western Europe and Mr Kabila had promised its first orderly transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

Kabila has ruled since 2001 in the troubled nation rich in the minerals key to smartphones around the world.

Felix Tshisekedi (right) and his running mate Vital Kamerhe campaign in Kinshasa, November 2018.

The government has cut internet service since the day after the election to prevent speculation on social media about who won, and blocked some radio stations.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged all sides "to refrain from violence and to channel any eventual electoral disputes through the established institutional mechanisms", his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Fayulu said the Congolese people were being cheated and called on people to push for his victory.

Felix Tshisekedi was declared the victor of the country's long-delayed elections.

"Nobody knows how he would be able to cope with the position of president", Patta said of Tshisekedi. "This is the beginning of national reconciliation".

"The electoral victory of opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi is highly surprising, but the decision makes sense in the context of DRC's political dynamics", said Robert Besseling of EXX Intelligence, a risk consultancy on Africa.

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