Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has been declared as the elected president of the Democratic republic of Congo following his victory in the polls cast more than a week ago.
The official results coming from the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) indicate Tshisekedi is leading with about 39% of the votes. Figures from the votes show that so far Tshisekedi has scooped 7 million votes in the lead followed by another opposition candidate Martin Fayulu with 6.4 votes while ruling party’s coalition candidate is third with 4.4 million votes.
Tshisekedi will be the first opposition candidate to win a presidential in DRC since the country got their independence from Belgium in 1960. This is also going to be the first time for the country to witness handover of power in 18 years.
The long awaited results will bring relief to the people of DRC after days of tension following the electoral commission’s failure to announce final results in the stipulated time that expired last Sunday.
Felix Tshisekedi is a son to the late veteran opposition politician Etienne Tshisekedi who is remembered for his long term challenge of president Kabila’s leadership before he died.
While addressing his supports in the capital Kinshasa, Tshisekedi thanked the people of Congo for trusting him with their votes and he also added that outgoing president Joseph Kabila should no longer be seen as an adversary but rather a partner for the democratic change of the country.
The president elect has vowed to prioritize the fight against poverty and will star right away after entering office.
The disputed elections that were initially to take place on December 23rd last year were subsequently postponed for a week due to irregularities in the electoral commission that included burning of election documents.
The country has been facing some power succession crisis since 2016 when President Kabila refused to step down following the expiry of his two terms in office. Last year Mr. Kabila officially announced that he will be stepping down and allow the country to choose a new president.
Arrangements from the electoral commission indicate that final results will be announced on January 15th and the new president will be sworn in three days later.
The new leader will be expected to tackle some of the country’s long standing problems including the insecurity in the Eastern region that has resulted into various problems including loss of lives.
DRC is the largest country in Sub Saharan Africa with a lot of resources including minerals, forests, and a variety of tourist attractions. However, long term political instabilities, corruption and civil wars have prevented this vast nation to enjoy its wealth with majority citizens living below the poverty line.