DR Congo Opposition Cries Foul as Tshisekedi Set To Be Sworn In

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Tensions are flaring in the Democratic Republic of Congo as the opposition prepares to protest the re-election of President Felix Tshisekedi, scheduled to be sworn in this Saturday 19 January 2024.

Accusations of widespread fraud and demands for a fresh election are threatening to destabilize the resource-rich nation, raising concerns about potential violence and economic repercussions.

Martin Fayulu and Moise Katumbi, leading figures in the opposition, have passionately rejected the December election results, alleging systemic irregularities and manipulation by the national electoral commission, CENI.

Katumbi, in a virtual press conference, declared, “There was fraud everywhere, and the elections must be annulled.” The demand is for a complete rerun, not just a recount.

The opposition’s call to action is a nationwide protest set for Saturday, coinciding with Tshisekedi’s inauguration.

CENI, on the other hand, has consistently denied any wrongdoing, upholding the validity of the election results. Tshisekedi secured 73% of the vote, a significant margin, but not enough to quell the dissenters’ cries.

The stakes are high, not just for Congolese democracy but also for the nation’s economy and the wider region.

Furthermore, the history of violence and conflict in Congo, coupled with the presence of numerous armed groups, makes the prospect of mass protests even more concerning.

The possibility of clashes between security forces and protestors, or even outbreaks of factional violence, cannot be ruled out, potentially plunging the country into further chaos.

Nonetheless, vice president of Uganda Jessica Alupo posted on social media today, January 19, 2024, that she was travelling to Kinshasa, DRC, to represent President YKMuseveni at the inauguration and swearing-in of the country’s newly elected leader, President Felix Tishekhedhi.

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