Congo: Felix Tshisekedi Declared Provisional President-Elect

HeadlineJan 10, 2019

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has been declared the provisional winner in December’s presidential election. Congo’s Independent National Election Commission says Tshisekedi won a plurality of votes with almost 39 percent of the total. But election observers—including the influential Church’s bishops’ conference—say another opposition leader, Martin Fayulu, won handily. Fayulu has denounced the results as an “electoral coup” and promised a challenge. The result comes in an election that observers say was marred by irregularities, with opposition groups alleging fraud. More than a million Congolese voters were unable to cast ballots due to violence from armed opposition groups, as well as an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. A candidate groomed by longtime authoritarian President Joseph Kabila came in third place. Kabila has promised to step down this month after 18 years in power—and more than two years since his presidential mandate expired.

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