Tshisekedi Takes Oath for Second Term as President of DRC Following Controversial Election

Félix Tshisekedi, the incumbent president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has been inaugurated for his second consecutive five-year term amid a contentious electoral backdrop. 

His victory in the December general election, marked by allegations of widespread irregularities, faces opposition refusal to acknowledge the outcome.

Despite authorities acknowledging electoral issues, they dismiss claims of vote theft. This situation mirrors previous electoral disputes in the African nation, sparking protests in two eastern cities over the weekend. 

The inauguration ceremony, held at Kinshasa’s packed stadium, witnessed Tshisekedi taking the oath of office in the presence of supporters, government officials, African leaders, and foreign envoys, including representatives from the US, China, and France.

In his address, Tshisekedi acknowledged the nation’s aspirations for improved living conditions and economic opportunities, emphasizing the goal of job creation during his new term. 

He pledged a significant overhaul of the security and defense apparatus, along with diplomatic initiatives, to address the prolonged security crisis in the DRC’s eastern provinces.

The inauguration featured choirs singing Handel’s Messiah, marching military bands, and a 21-cannon salute. 

Despite armed military police presence in the capital, there was no immediate indication of opposition supporters responding to calls for protests from two major opponents of Tshisekedi.

Protests did break out in the eastern city of Beni, marked by makeshift barricades and burning tires, but were dispersed by police without significant incidents. 

Similar small-scale demonstrations occurred in Goma and other urban centers, contained by a substantial deployment of security forces.

Congo’s largest election-monitoring group, the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO), labeled the polls an “electoral catastrophe,” citing fraud, mishandling of materials, parallel voting, and other issues. 

The electoral commission downplayed these infractions, asserting they were limited and did not impact the overall fairness of the elections.

While some African and Western nations recognized Tshisekedi’s victory after the dismissal of challenges by the DRC’s highest court, opposition figures like Denis Mukwege and other challengers, including Moïse Katumbi and Martin Fayulu, refused to contest the results in court.

The government rejected their demand for a complete rerun of the vote.

Source: theeastafrican

Francis Stein
Francis Stein
Francis Stein is a writer and traveler who has already traveled most of the states of America. He loves to explore new places and meet new people, and he hopes to continue traveling the world in search of adventure. Francis enjoys writing about his experiences as a way of sharing his love for exploration with others.

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