Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election winner Felix Tshisekedi on Thursday (January 10) paid his respects to outgoing President Joseph Kabila, whom he described as a “partner in democratic change”.
“First of all I wish to thank God, the master of time and circumstances who allowed for such an event which a few weeks ago was still unimaginable. That is why I follow it directly with – and I know many of you find it hard to accept – but I say it with sincerity, I pay homage to President Joseph Kabila, President of the Republic.”
“Today, we must no longer consider each other as adversaries but rather as partners in democratic change in our country.”
Today, we must no longer consider each other as adversaries but rather as partners in democratic change in our country.
Speaking to thousands of cheering supporters in the capital Kinshasa, Tshisekedi said he would be the president “of all Congolese”.
Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won the Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential election, according to the country's electoral commission https://t.co/3Q6ZlvtWHK— CNN International (@cnni) January 10, 2019
Tshisekedi, candidate of the Cap for Change (CACH) coalition and UDPS party leader, won with 38.57 percent of more than 18 million ballots cast, Corneille Nangaa, the president of the election commission (CENI), told a news conference at about 3 a.m. (0200 GMT), that appeared timed to avoid any immediate reaction in the streets.
A turning of the corner in DRC politics? The people of DRC have struggled hard for a long time &deserve a democratic transition! Congratulations on the huge step so far!— Kifefe Kizza-Besigye (@kizzabesigye1) January 10, 2019
In the Kinshasa neighbourhood of Limete where Tshisekedi lives, thousands of people danced in the streets in celebration and cars slowed down and honked their horns.
.— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) January 10, 2019
antonioguterrestakes note of CENI's announcement of provisional results of the election in the #DRCongo. He commends the Congolese people and reiterates the continued support and commitment of the UN to peace and stability in the DRC. Full statement: https://t.co/noMumURhZN
Some chanted that Congo had “turned the page” on the Kabila era, which began in 1997 when Joseph Kabila’s father, Laurent, led a rebellion that overthrew longtime leader Mobutu Sese Seko. Joseph took over in 2001 when Laurent was assassinated.
If Tshisekedi’s victory is confirmed in the next 10 days by the constitutional court, he will become the first leader to take power at the ballot box since Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, who was toppled in a coup less than three months after independence in 1960 and killed four months later.
Congo's Kabila couldn't manipulate the polls for his preferred candidate (who lost badly) but, if you accept the Catholic Church's tally, he went for Plan B, choosing Felix Tshisekedi, whom he sees as more manipulable, over the real winner, Martin Fayulu. https://t.co/mTjsSgcX59— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) January 10, 2019