With his imposing stature and no-nonsense leadership style, Martin Fayulu, is a formidable force in Congolese politics. Fayulu, who claims he was robbed of victory in the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election, on Sunday called for civilian action to drive President Felix Tshisekedi from power.
Fayulu has been quite vocal in expressing his dissatisfaction with last December's presidential election results which he categorically states as being a stitch-up between Tshisekedi and the outgoing president Joseph Kabila.
The opposition leader was officially credited with 34.8 percent of the vote against 38.5 percent for Tshisekedi, results which he contests. He has emphasized that he received around 60 percent of the vote and the results were altered to favour Tshisekedi. Tshisekedi, who has been largely branded as Kabila's point man, replaced Kabila who yielded power after 18 turbulent years at the helm of the Presidency.
Fayulu believes that people power is the best way to end an authoritarian regime. He cited the recent uprisings in Algeria and Sudan as good examples of what an informed citizenry can achieve.
While speaking to several thousand supporters in Kinshasa the opposition leader told them that they could achieve the same thing.
This time, we have returned to call for and to obtain the resignation of Felix Tshisekedi," he said. "He's a disgrace, he sold out the country....You, the people are stronger than any army in the world. In Sudan and in Algeria, the people got the departure of the leaders. Here we have to do the same thing against Kabila and Tshisekedi."
Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in early April following weeks of mass protests across the country and amid pressure from the international community. After his unceremonial exit from office, several officials in his regime and his close business allies have been sacked or detained over alleged graft.
In a similar fashion, people's protests in Sudan led to a military council ousting veteran leader and strongman Omar al-Bashir in April. Since then representatives of the protesters have been meeting with the military council to agree on a smooth transition to civilian rule.
Whether or not the people of Sub-Saharan Africa's largest country will heed to Fayulu's call and force Tshisekedi out of office remains to be seen.
Header Image Credit: Nicolas Maeterlinck