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Tshisekedi set to be sworn in as president of the DRC amid vote dispute

Felix Tshisekedi’s inauguration will mark the vast central African nation’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since independence in 1960.

Felix Tshisekedi will be sworn in as the Democratic Republic of Congo’s new president on Thursday after an election fraught with delays and doubts.

Two-year delay
After being postponed three times, the elections go ahead on December 30, 2018 to chose a successor to President Joseph Kabila.
His term ran out in late 2016 and his extended stay in power had resulted in demonstrations and criticism.
The election is held in relative calm although clashes claim four lives in the volatile eastern South-Kivu province.
Voting is delayed until March 2019 in two regions affected by unrest and Ebola.
On December 31 the influential Catholic bishops conference says its observers had signalled anomalies in the vote count.
On January 2, with tensions growing, Kinshasa pulls the accreditation of a French radio journalist and halts broadcasts of the popular Radio France Internationale (RFI).
Surprise result
After a long delay the electoral commission issues provisional results in the early hours of January 10, declaring t hat opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi won with 38.57 percent.
Pre-vote favourite, the opposition’s Martin Fayulu, took 34.8 percent, it says.
Kabila’s chosen successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, has 23.8 percent.
Fayulu immediately denounces an “electoral coup”.
Results disputed
France queries the result and the United States calls for “clarification”. The Catholic Church says it does not tally with its own data.
On January 11 a curfew is declared in Kikwit, Fayulu’s bastion in the west, where at least nine people are ki lled in protests.
Towards co-habitation
Legislative election results are announced on January 12 giving pro-Kabila parties a majority in the national assembly.
It means that Tshisekedi’s prime minister will come from Kabila’s camp.
Court challenge
Fayulu lodges an appeal on January 12 in the Constitutional Court against the presidential vote results.
The following day the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc urges a recount.
On January 15 documents leaked to foreign med ia — including the Financial Times, TV5 Monde and RFI — back Fayulu’s claim to be the winner.
Tshisekedi confirmed
On January 18 the DR Congo rebukes the African Union for expressing “serious doubts” over the provisional result, saying the Constitutional Court – considering Fayulu’s appeal – is impartial.
The court on January 20 dismisses the appeal and confirms Tshisekedi as winner.
Fayulu calls on the international community to reject Tshisekedi’s victory.
Doubts, recognition
The same day SADC congratulates Tshisekedi and calls for a peaceful handover of power.
And Kabila urged the nation to “massively” support the incoming leader.
Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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