During the early hours of today, the highly awaited official results of the presidential elections held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 30 December 2018 were released.
The news of Felix Tshisekedi’s victory, who is the leader of the main opposition party, came to many as a surprise.
Apart from the fact that majority of the observers expected the authorities to favour the anointed candidate of the president, Joseph Kabila - who picked Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary to be his successor; there is increased concern over the position of Martin Fayulu, another opposition candidate who had a healthy lead in pre-election polling.
According to the official figures published by the electoral commission, Tshisekedi won the elections by 38%, four points ahead of Fayulu - who had a 20-point lead ahead of Tshisekedi before the elections.
There is increasing tension in the country as many claim the results of the elections do not reflect the polling station and pre-election data.
France, a major ally the country has expressed dissatisfaction over the results released earlier saying there needs to be clarity.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Thursday has called for explanations on the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election results, saying the surprise victory of Felix Tshisekedi did not reflect what they saw on the ground.
“We must have clarity on these results, which are the opposite to what we expected,” Le Drian told CNews.
“The Catholic Church of Congo did its tally and announced completely different results.”
Tshisekedi’s father, Etienne, was a famous opposition leader under Mobutu. He died in 2017 and his son has inherited his party. Critics say Tshisekedi, 55, is unproven, inexperienced and lacks the charisma of his father.
“His father was a man of the country. The son is very limited,” Valentin Mubake, a former secretary-general of Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress told the Guardian last month.
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