President Felix Tshisekedi secured a resounding victory with over 73% of the vote in the recent December 20 poll, as announced by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s election commission, CENI. The declaration comes amid mounting opposition complaints regarding the election’s transparency and conduct.
Denis Kadima, head of CENI, disclosed the outcome in Kinshasa, confirming Tshisekedi’s provisional re-election with over 13 million votes out of 18 million valid ones, accompanied by a turnout exceeding 43%.
Amidst cheers from his supporters, President Tshisekedi, flanked by family members, addressed a jubilant crowd at his campaign headquarters, expressing gratitude and pledging to accelerate initiatives to address societal inequalities during his second term.
“You believed in my commitment… so that the Congolese people will recover their pride and dignity in belonging to this country,” Tshisekedi affirmed, highlighting his dedication to combating enduring societal disparities.
As per electoral regulations, opposing political entities possess a two-day window to contest the election’s outcome in the Constitutional Court, which subsequently has seven days to adjudicate and announce the final verdict.
While some opposition figures, notably runner-up Moise Katumbi, have disclaimed plans for legal action, citing concerns over institutional independence, other candidates have yet to confirm their stance regarding the election results.
A joint declaration by nine opposition presidential contenders, including Katumbi, and six political party leaders denounced the poll results as a “sham election,” advocating for fresh elections conducted by a revamped electoral body and calling on supporters to stage mass protests.
Despite celebrations among Tshisekedi’s backers in the capital, Kinshasa and the rest of the nation on New Year’s Eve remained relatively tranquil, displaying limited signs of dissent.
The aftermath of the election has witnessed prominent challengers, like former oil executive Martin Fayulu, pushing for a rerun of both the presidential and legislative elections, accusing CENI of bias in favour of the incumbent president.
While international scrutiny, notably from the United States, remains steadfast, urging a peaceful resolution of disputes by Congolese electoral statutes, the government has rebuffed calls for a redo of the elections, dismissing concerns of compromised credibility.