Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi has been re-elected for a second term after getting more than 73% of the vote in a Dec 20 poll, the country’s election commission CENI said yesterday.
The declaration of the result follows days of opposition complaints about the way the election was conducted.
Logistical setbacks, an election day over-run, and an opaque vote count have fuelled a dispute that threatens to further destabilise a country roughly the size of Western Europe which is the world’s top producer of cobalt and other prized industrial commodities.
Announcing the results in the capital Kinshasa, Denis Kadima, head of CENI, said Tshisekedi had obtained more than 13mn out of over 18mn valid votes, adding that turnout was more than 43%.
Cheers erupted from Tshisekedi’s supporters present at the declaration after Kadima announced that Tshisekedi was provisionally elected.
Speaking to hundreds who gathered at his campaign headquarters after the announcement, Tshisekedi, flanked by his wife and mother, thanked supporters and promised to speed up programmes during his second term to tackle inequalities.
“You believed in my commitment not to spare any effort so that our country will retake its rightful place, and so that the Congolese people will recover their pride and dignity in belonging to this country,” he said.
“You believed in my fight against inequalities that have for a long time characterised our society.” Rival political parties, candidates and those mandated by them have two days to challenge the outcome of the election at the Constitutional Court. The court then has seven days to rule on the case and proclaim the final result.