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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

We Got Trump Elected, Shouldn’t Stop Him in 2020; Says Facebook Executive

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day

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FILE - President Donald Trump departs after speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House July 17, 2019, in Washington. VOA

Facebook Vice President Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth has claimed that it was the social networking giant that got Donald Trump elected as the US President in 2016 because “he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser”.

In a memo obtained by The New York Times, the key Facebook executive in the same vein suggested that the platform with over 2.45 billion monthly active users should not use its enormous reach to block Trump’s reelection in 2020.

Was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected?

“I think the answer is yes, but not for the reasons anyone thinks. He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period”, said Bosworth who runs Facebook’s hardware group.

“Trump just did unbelievable work,” Bosworth wrote.

“They weren’t running misinformation or hoaxes. They weren’t micro-targeting or saying different things to different people. They just used the tools we had to show the right creative to each persona.

He continued: “I find myself desperately wanting to pull any lever at my disposal to avoid the same result. So what stays my hand? I find myself thinking of the Lord of the Rings at this moment”.

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump. Wikimedia Commons

“Specifically when Frodo offers the ring to Galadrial (Galadriel) and she imagines using the power righteously, at first, but knows it will eventually corrupt her,” he wrote.

“As tempting as it is to use the tools available to us to change the outcome, I am confident we must never do that or we will become that which we fear.”

“To be clear, I’m no fan of Trump. I donated the max to Hillary,” he tried to clarify his stand.

Bosworth said that it is worth reminding everyone that Russian interference was real but it was mostly not done through advertising.

Also Read: Scientists Develop New Method to Detect Oxygen on Exoplanet Atmospheres

“$100,000 in ads on Facebook can be a powerful tool but it can’t buy you an American election, especially when the candidates themselves are putting up several orders of magnitude more money on the same platform (not to mention other platforms),” he wrote.

Instead, the Russians worked to exploit existing divisions in the American public for example by hosting Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter protest events in the same city on the same day.

“Misinformation was also real and related but not the same as Russian interference,” Bosworth mentioned, admitting that Cambridge Analytica was one of the more acute cases where the details were almost all wrong. (IANS)