DRC: Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi wins historic election

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Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has won the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) long-awaited presidential election.

The country’s electoral commission named the opposition leader as the winner of last month’s election on Wednesday night, three days after it was originally due to announce the result. The Independent National Election Commission (CENI) said Tshisekedi won the poll with 38.57 percent of the vote.

Felix Tshisekedi wins DRC election

Corneille Nangaa, the head of the Independent National Election Commission (CENI) declared Felix Tshisekedi the next president of the DRC on Wednesday night in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.

With 38.57 percent of the vote, Tshisekedi beat opposition rival Martin Fayulu who had roughly 6.4 million votes and ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary with around 4.4 million votes.

Police were deployed outside the commission’s headquarters hours ahead of the announcement amid fears of violence over a disputed result. Speculation among opposition groups and supporters that the delay in announcing the result was being used to rig the election in favour of ruling coalition candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

However, the electoral commission announced Felix Tshisekedi as the winner and the relatively unknown Shadary as the third-placed candidate, which follows expectations based on opinion polls ahead of the vote.

Some still speculate that Tshisekedi has struck some kind of power-sharing deal with outgoing president Joseph Kabila and the election winner’s camp has admitted making contact with Kabila’s representatives since the vote, but denied any kind of deal has been made.

Featured image: flickr photo by MONUSCO https://flickr.com/photos/monusco/32109067714 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.