Home World News Inside Africa DR Congo Court Sustains Re-election of President Tshisekedi

DR Congo Court Sustains Re-election of President Tshisekedi

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Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo
Felix Tshisekedi, leader of Congolese main opposition party the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) and president-elect. Image: REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo

The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Tuesday officially confirmed the re-election of President Felix Tshisekedi following the Dec. 20 polls.

Tshisekedi secured a dominant 73.47 percent of the vote, while main opposition candidate Moise Katumbi trailed behind with 18.08 percent, according to the court’s declaration. The Constitutional Court annulled the ballots cast for the presidential election in the constituencies of Yakima (in the province of Nord-Ubangi) and Masi Manimba (in the province of Kwilu) where cases of irregularity have been reported. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the electoral body, said over 18 million Congolese, from a total of 44 million registered voters, cast their ballots in the elections for the president, the National Assembly and the 26 provincial assemblies. However, the process was not without controversy as opposition candidates raised allegations of irregularities, which the electoral commission said would not impact the election outcome.

Last week, 82 candidates in the national and provincial legislative elections were disqualified for fraud, corruption, vandalism of electoral materials, incitement to violence, or illegal detention of electrical voting devices, said CENI. This election was significant as it marked the second peaceful transfer of power in the country’s history since independence in 1960. In 2018, Tshisekedi ascended to power after winning the election, marking the country’s first peaceful transfer of power since its independence from Belgium. The president-elect is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 20 after the Constitutional Court approves the election results.

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