DR Congo: The president rekindles the debate on his “victory” in the 2018 presidential election

DR Congo: The president rekindles the debate on his “victory” in the 2018 presidential election

During a press briefing in New York, he returned to the conditions of his accession to the supreme office.

Fifty-six months after the proclamation of his victory in the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Félix Tshisekedi has rekindled a debate that everyone thought had died down four months before the next electoral deadline.

In New York, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Congolese head of state returned to the conditions of his victory in December 2018.

No agreement with Kabila”

For President Tshisekedi, “there have never been any arrangements between Joseph Kabila and me”. President Tshisekedi evokes a meeting with two leaders of the Joseph Kabila regime, Raymond Tshibanda, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Néhémie Mwilanya, chief of staff of the outgoing president. The two men allegedly tried to pressure Tshisekedi to accept the post of Prime Minister from the candidate designated by Joseph Kabila for the presidential election, Emmanuel Shadary. “I told them that I am not ready for the deal because I am the winner given the results I had in my possession,” explained the Congolese president in front of the New York audience.

DRC: The week when Kabila chose “his” president

The former president of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni), Corneille Nangaa, major coordinator of the 2018 polls, placed on the list of people sanctioned by the United States since March 2019 for “repeated acts of corruption” and for having “undermined the democratic process in the DRC (!)” did not wait to react. After having been Kabila’s man, Corneille Nangaa, while maintaining close ties with the former head of state, grew closer to Tshisekedi before finally taking the path of exile seven months ago, not without having founded his political party and announcing his intention to be a presidential candidate.

In his press release published on A political agreement does indeed exist and it preceded the publication of the final results. I am one of the co-editors”. A little further in the text, he explains that this document was signed in front of witnesses by President Tshisekedi and his predecessor Joseph Kabila and that it “was certified and validated by three African heads of state who congratulated this agreement of fact that it allowed the first bloodless transfer of power in the DRC”.

The doubts of the African Union

In January 2019, a few days after the Ceni announced Tshisekedi’s victory, many states on the continent feared a wave of violence in the DRC. The figures collected in the polling stations by Congolese civil society and observers from the Catholic and Protestant Churches all gave a large victory to Martin Fayulu, candidate of an opposition platform which brought together most of the major opponents of Kabila, from Bemba to Katumbi via Muzito.

DRC: Félix Tshisekedi’s diploma is a fake

Faced with this announcement of the victory of Félix Tshisekedi, the current president of the African Union (AU), the Rwandan Paul Kagame, supported by the President of the Council Moussa Faki, launched, on January 17, 2019, an appeal to the authorities Congolese authorities to suspend the proclamation of the results. Reason for this exceptional appeal: “the lack of credibility of the figures announced by the Ceni”, an African diplomat explained to La Libre at the time. At the same time, the AU announced the arrival in Kinshasa of the highest authorities of its institution “for a round table with the main political actors of this electoral crisis”. The next day, January 18, the Constitutional Court ignored this request and overnight proclaimed the victory of Félix Tshisekedi in the presidential election and the tidal wave of Kabila’s FCC candidates in the National Assembly. The telephone had heated up in the hours following this call and the presidents of the region, led by South African Cyril Ramaphosa (one of the three presidents who witnessed this electoral agreement), had received guarantees that the Congolese opposition would not would not call for street mobilization.