Surprise, scepticism as opposition leader Tshisekedi wins DRC poll

10 January 2019 - 13:22 By Odwa Mjo
Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi is set to become the next president of the DRC after trouncing the former president's hand-picked candidate. The voter turnout was 48%.
Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi is set to become the next president of the DRC after trouncing the former president's hand-picked candidate. The voter turnout was 48%.
Image: Luis TATO / AFP

Mixed reactions flooded Twitter after Felix Tshisekedi was named the surprise winner of presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The opposition candidate led provisional results with 7-million votes in the much anticipated election, which according to the BBC had a voter turnout of 48%,

Tshisekedi, the leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, won 38.57% of the more than 18-million votes, reported Reuters.

Tshisekedi's opponents were Martin Fayulu, who earned 6.4-million votes, and Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary with 4.4-million votes. 

Many observers were predicting victory for Shadary, the government candidate who was hand-picked by outgoing president Joseph Kabila to succeed him.

Tshisekedi's opponents now have just over a week to contest his win. If all goes well for Tshisekedi, he will succeed Kabila, who is letting go of the reins since taking up office 18 years ago.

It will be the first democratic transfer of power since the country gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

The results were initially expected to be released on Sunday January 6. Police were deployed to the offices of the election commission in Kinshasa ahead of the announcement out of fear that riots could break out. The country was previously hit by election violence in 2006 and 2011.

Reactions to the results were mixed. Some on Twitter celebrated Tshisekedi's win as a victory for all, while others felt that he was simply another Kabila in disguise. 


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