Felix Tshisekedi, DRC's Elected Leader: A Wave Is Suspicious, It's Surreal

It had been listening for days. On December 31, the announcement that Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi would be re-elected for a second term was confirmed (the last according to the constitution, unless there is an attempt to replace the latter).

The outgoing president would have won 73.34%, according to provisional figures provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INC). His second, former governor of Katanga, Moise Katumbi, will collect 18.08%. As for 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Denis Mukwege, third-placed Martin Fayulu will be satisfied with 5.33%, he will receive 0.27% of the total of 44 million voters, or less than 40,000 votes. 43% turnout.

With this impressive score, Felix Tshisegedi managed to double the 38.5% figure reported by Cheney in 2018, with his first victory already shrouded in a solid dose of mystery and behind-the-scenes fiddling. (He was credited with less than 15% of this ballot and third place, according to statistics obtained by Observers of the Catholic Church in particular).

This makes him the most electable candidate in the DRC, a young and troubled democracy. A far cry from the 58% Joseph Kabila won in the second round against Jean-Pierre Bemba in 2006, and the 48.9% the same Kabila won in 2011, he won ahead of Etienne Tshisekedi during the first round of elections. .

Opposition Leader

The December 20 poll was marked by an incredible series of hiccups, cheating and a deliberately chaotic system. Key opposition figures, unable to contain their egos ahead of the election and present a united front in the face of emerging fraud, managed to sign a joint statement on December 31 “categorically rejecting rigged elections”. It calls on people to “stand up” and demonstrate against “vote stealers” across the country to “establish real elections” and save democracy.

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7,498 m² €20,000 per month: Felix Shisegedi's luxurious Uccle residence

The first disaffected people did not wait for this call and took to the streets in Kinshasa, and above all in Beni, Bunia and Goma in the eastern part of the DRC, where the arms could not be silenced and the war resumed. , who multiplied the threats and made this war of aggression against Rwanda his main propaganda argument.

Balance sheet to see

Faced with more than twenty candidates in a single round of elections, the demographic weight of its appearance in a country with its poor political record and vote based on ethnicity, these results can only be the result of a new manipulation.

Sure, Seni conceded victory to Martin Fayulu in Kwilu Province and Moise Katumbi in Greater Katanga and Manima, but everywhere else the wave is suspiciously surreal. Cheney notably took first place in both Kivu and Ituri, Swahili-speaking areas where the outgoing president drew jeers from crowds during his campaign.

The Congolese crowd, who expected a lot from this opposition president, are forced to note that the return of the prodigal son has brought no positive developments to the country. The narrative created by its interlocutors highlighted the free education imposed by Felix Shisegedi, which would have brought two million children back to school. An unverifiable figure. On the other hand, to accommodate this wave of student happiness, the DRC has built practically no schools and still employs poorly and irregularly paid teachers. Ministry of Education.

Complex overview

In this assessment, we cannot ignore the relations of this great state with the nine neighboring countries that warmly welcomed Felix Tshisekedi when he was appointed in January 2019. , Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi). States (except Rwanda) Kinshasa tried to bring peace to the East before humiliatingly rejecting these states.

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On the eastern front, we must now note the actions of the Congo River Alliance (AFC), coordinated by Ceni's former boss Corneille Nangaa, who was also one of the witnesses to the agreement signed between Kabila and Shisegedi for power sharing. In January 2019, the man announced the support of various military groups and his intention to march in Kinshasa, recalling the music born in the background of the AFDL, led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who finally overthrew Mobutu. Tshisekedi was no Mobutu, but the regional balances were very similar and Tshisekedi's chaotic and humiliating first mandate exhausted the patience of his neighbors. In this context, it should also be remembered that the first serious demonstrations of discontent against Tshisekedi's declaration of victory took place in Ituri and North Kivu, the AFC's missile bases.

Finally, after the presidential election, the time will soon come when the results of the legislative assembly elections will be announced, where again cheating is rampant. If Tshisekedi decides to cut himself off from a few popular barons and exchange them for his political cronies, he risks fueling discontent and increasing the number of dissidents.

Despite the exceptional popularity figures, the next order was far from peaceful.

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