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Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi Re-elected

The Democratic Republic of Congo is struggling with post-election tensions as President Felix Tshisekedi secures a second term with a reported 73% of the vote. The results, announced by the country’s election commission, have been met with opposition leaders labeling the election a “sham.”

Felix Tshisekedi Re-elected

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The DRC’s election, held on December 20, 2023, involved more than 40 million registered voters out of the country’s 100 million inhabitants.

The results were officially disclosed in the capital, Kinshasa, on December 31, with Felix Tshisekedi declared the winner. The voting process was including logistical problems, late openings of polling stations, and issues with voter cards.

Observers reported irregularities, and the election extended the initially scheduled day to accommodate these challenges.

President Felix Tshisekedi’s reported 73% victory has among analysts, surpassing expectations opposition leaders, including wealthy businessman Moise Katumbi, to reject the results.

Katumbi, the election runner-up with around 18% of the vote, and eight other opposition candidates signed a joint declaration denouncing the outcome and demanding a rerun. The rejection of results sets the stage for post-election unrest.

The United States, through the State Department, has called for a peaceful resolution of any election disputes.

While refraining from congratulations to Felix Tshisekedi, the US addresses the need for adherence to Congolese electoral law and urges relevant authorities to handle complaints in a fair manner.

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The DRC’s Constitutional Court is expected to confirm the election results on January 10, 2024. This institution will have a role in determining the legitimacy of the election outcome.

Opposition candidates have a window of two days to submit their claims, and the Constitutional Court has seven days to make decisions.

The final results are anticipated on January 10, followed by the presidential inauguration at the end of the month.

The DRC has a troubled history of disputed elections leading to post-election tensions and violence. The lack of trust in the country’s institutions is the current situation.

Before the results were officially announced, opposition leaders, including Katumbi, expressed their rejection, calling on the population to mobilize.

The electoral process faced challenges, including delayed and non-opening of polling stations, lack of materials, and issues with voter cards.

These challenges contributed to the extension of the voting period, which some observers deemed illegal. The opposition, particularly Martin Fayulu, who received 5% of the vote, characterized the election as a farce.

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Felix Tshisekedi’s first term in office, which began in 2019 after a disputed election, has seen a mixed record. While the economy has shown signs of growth, inflation is soaring, and high unemployment persists.

The president’s campaign for re-election addressed achievements such as the elimination of primary school fees and promises to create millions of new jobs.

Felix Tshisekedi’s political journey has been shaped by his father, Etienne Tshisekedi, an opposition figure. The younger Tshisekedi, known by the nickname “Fatshi,” rose through the ranks of his father’s party and assumed leadership.

His presidency is a departure from a coalition deal with former President Joseph Kabila, indicating an independent politics.

The DRC, one of the poorest nations globally, faces challenges related to conflict, displacement, and a lack of basic infrastructure.

Millions of people live below the poverty line, and the eastern part of the country is by armed conflicts involving various rebel groups. The humanitarian situation is exacerbated by the displacement of millions of people.

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