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DRC: Felix Tshisekedi Proclaimed President By The Constitutional Court

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Felix Tshisekedi was definitively proclaimed Sunday the fifth president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the Constitutional Court, remained deaf to the calls of the African Union (AU) asking him to “suspend” the officialization of results.

Tshisekedi, 55, succeeds outgoing head of state Joseph Kabila, 47, in power since the assassination of his father Laurent-Désiré Kabila in January 2001. This is officially the first peaceful transmission of power since independence of the DRC on June 30, 1960.

Felix Tshisekedi was definitively proclaimed Sunday the fifth president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the Constitutional Court, remained deaf to the calls of the African Union (AU) asking him to “suspend” the officialization of results.

The court “proclaimed elected by simple majority President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Tshisekedi Tshilombo Felix, ” said the institution’s president, Benedict Lwamba Bindu.

Félix Tshisekedi, January 10, 2019 in Kinshasa

Tshisekedi, 55, succeeds outgoing head of state Joseph Kabila, 47, in power since the assassination of his father Laurent-Désiré Kabila in January 2001. This is officially the first peaceful transmission of power since independence of the DRC on June 30, 1960.

His opponent, the other opponent Martin Fayulu, immediately called on the international community to “not recognize a power that has neither legitimacy nor legal standing,” proclaiming itself “the only legitimate president.”

Fayulu had denounced an “electoral coup” of the outgoing president with the “complicity” of Mr. Tshisekedi and claimed victory with 61% of the vote.

The opponent was reinforced in its assertions by the publication in the international press and by the Group of Experts on the Congo (GEC) of the own estimates of the influential Catholic Church and documents that would have leaked from the Electoral Commission. These two sources gave Mr Fayulu the 60% victory.

The Court validated the preliminary results announced on January 10 by the Electoral Commission (CENI), giving Mr. Tshisekedi winner with 38.5% of the vote, ahead of Martin Fayulu (34.8%) and the candidate of power, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary (23%).

The country’s highest court dismissed Fayulu’s appeal against the presidential election result of December 30 as “unfounded”.

Martin Fayulu, January 18, 2019 in Kinshasa

In its judgment, the Court found that Fayulu had “failed to prove” that the results of the CENI were not in conformity with reality.

The decision of the nine judges is unsurprising because they are widely regarded as being acquired from President Kabila. However, they were surprisingly stern with Mr. Fayulu’s call for a recount, which was described as “imprecise and absurd”.


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