Saturday September 21, 2019
Home Lead Story Felix Tshisek...

Felix Tshisekedi Gets Declared As The President Of Congo

Ahead of the ruling, hundreds of Tshisekedi’s supporters were in the streets of the capital, Kinshasa, waving tree branches and banners reading “Congo for the Congolese.”

0
//
Congo, President, Election
Felix Tshisekedi, leader of Congolese main opposition the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party, attends a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Nov. 23, 2018. VOA

Congo’s Constitutional Court early Sunday declared the election of Felix Tshisekedi as president, rejecting challenges to the vote by runner-up Martin Fayulu, who had alleged fraud.

Tshisekedi, son of the late, charismatic opposition leader Etienne, is now set to be inaugurated Tuesday.

The declaration came shortly after the African Union in an unprecedented move asked Congo to delay announcing the final election results, citing “serious doubts” about the vote. It planned to send a high-level delegation Monday to find a way out of the crisis, fearing unrest spilling across borders of the vast Central African nation.

Congo, President
Supporters of Felix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition politician declared winner of the presidential poll, sing and dance ahead of the Constitutional Court final decision on the presidential results, in Kinshasa, Jan. 19, 2019. VOA

The court turned away Fayulu’s request for a recount in the Dec. 30 vote. He had accused Congo’s electoral commission of announcing results dramatically different from ones posted at polling stations around the country. Leaked data attributed to the commission shows that Fayulu easily won.

But the court said Fayulu did not put forward proof to back his claims.

Backroom deal alleged

Outside court, Fayulu’s supporters have alleged that outgoing President Joseph Kabila made a backroom deal with the largely untested Tshisekedi once it became clear that the ruling party’s candidate did poorly in the election. Neither party has acknowledged the accusations.

Congo, rich in the minerals key to smartphones, is moving close to achieving its first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since independence in 1960.

But observers have warned that the court’s upholding of the official results could lead to further unrest. At least 34 people have been killed since provisional results were released on Jan. 10, the United Nations has said.

Congo
Supporters of the runner-up in Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election, Martin Fayulu, hold up a sign ahead of a political rally in Kinshasa, DRC, Jan. 11, 2019. VOA

There was no immediate reaction early Sunday from Tshisekedi, who has said little publicly since the election, or Fayulu. Many people in the courtroom erupted in cheers after the declaration, along with Tshisekedi supporters who had gathered outside.

The court could have ordered a recount or ordered a new election.

It called unfounded a challenge filed by another candidate, Theodore Ngoy, that objected to the electoral commission’s last-minute decision to bar about 1 million voters from the election over a deadly Ebola virus outbreak.

Vote totals disputed

The court said Tshisekedi won with more than 7 million votes, or 38 percent, and Fayulu received 34 percent. However, leaked data published by some media outlets, attributed to the electoral commission and representing 86 percent of the votes, show that Fayulu won 59 percent while Tshisekedi received 19 percent.

Congo, election
Opposition candidate Martin Fayulu speaks to the press at his headquarters in Kinshasa, Congo, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

Ahead of the court’s decision, both Congo’s government and Tshisekedi’s party dismissed the AU’s request to delay the final results.

Congo’s government called it a matter for the court. Tshisekedi’s party rejected the request outright.

Also Read: Poll Recount Urged By Regional Blocs in Democratic Republic Of Congo

The continental body’s stance is “the work of some mining lobbies seeking to destabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to perpetuate the looting of this country,” the secretary-general of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party, Jean-Marc Kabund, said in a statement.

He called on the Congolese people to mobilize and defend the mineral-rich country’s sovereignty.

Ahead of the ruling, hundreds of Tshisekedi’s supporters were in the streets of the capital, Kinshasa, waving tree branches and banners reading “Congo for the Congolese.” (VOA)

Next Story

Congo: Ebola Deaths in East of Sprawling African Nation Nearing 2,000 and Cases of Virus Exceeds 3,000

The committee released the latest numbers Friday after a discussion in Goma by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church about efforts

0
Congo, Ebola, Deaths
FILE - A health worker wearing a protective suit enters an isolation pod to treat an Ebola patient at a treatment center in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo, July 13, 2019. VOA

Congo’s National Ebola Response Committee says confirmed Ebola deaths in the east of the sprawling African nation are nearing 2,000 and confirmed cases of the virus have exceeded 3,000. Congo.

The committee released the latest numbers Friday after a discussion in Goma by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church about efforts to help stem the spread of Ebola in communities. A mistrust of health workers and widespread security issues still threaten the fight against the second deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history in a region where armed groups have fought for decades over the mineral-rich land.

Congo, Ebola, Deaths
Congo’s National Ebola Response Committee says confirmed Ebola deaths in the east of the sprawling African nation are nearing 2,000 and confirmed cases of the virus. Pixabay

The committee reported 3,002 confirmed Ebola cases with 1,974 deaths.

Also Read- Why Young Americans Are Not Moving A Lot Since The Great Recession

The World Health Organization said Friday they recorded the lowest weekly incidence of Ebola since March 2019 with 40 new cases, but said it was unclear if this positive trend would continue. (VOA)