Investiture of Félix Tshisekedi in the DRC: between hope, expectations and challenges - RFI

This Thursday, Felix Tshisekedi is officially invested President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The inauguration ceremony should start towards

By Sonia RolleyPosted on 24-01-2019Modified on 24-01-2019 at 10:47

This Thursday, Felix Tshisekedi is officially invested President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The investiture ceremony is to start around noon at the Palais de la Nation. A first handover of power between the leader of the UDPS, the historic opposition party, and the outgoing Joseph Kabila. This ceremony comes in a very particular context, while the results of the three polls of December 30, presidential, legislative and provincial, are still widely disputed, especially because the ruling coalition remains ultra-majority in all the assemblies of the country. And yet, the UDPS had been waiting for a long time for access to the supreme magistracy.

Thirty-eight years of struggle, this is what the UDPS fighters remember. This is also what we call the activists of the historic opposition party in the DRC. Thirty-eight years of struggle with first father, Etienne Tshisekedi, tutelary figure of the opposition in Congo, died in February 2017. It is to him that many think today, him who in 2011 still claimed in vain the victory in the presidential election. Finally, two years after his death, his son, Félix, became supreme.

An important moment for Thotho Mabiku, one of the advisers of the new head of state: " Today, it will be the first time that a peaceful alternation is done without bloodshed, without problem at the top of the State. And that is a great victory for the non-violent struggle of the UDPS. But we are not in self-satisfaction because it is only the beginning. The task is huge and there is a lot of work to be done and the UDPS alone can not solve all the problems. "

Since the proclamation of the final results of the presidential election this weekend, the UDPS calls for the sacred union behind the new president to obtain the " desired change by the Congolese ". But this election, even if it is an alternation at the top of the state, has aroused many challenges. From the Catholic Church first, who as in 2011, said doubting the results. The Episcopal Conference had the largest observer mission in the country and produced its own compilation of results that convinced the past few weeks many organizations and even heads of state, including on the African continent to claim the truth of the polls despite the election of the opponent Felix Tshisekedi.

Kabila's power remains strong

This electoral cycle is all the more controversial as Joseph Kabila's electoral platform should keep all the other levers of power. More than 70% of the seats in all assemblies for the Common Front for Congo (FCC) which should keep the prime minister, most of the posts of the government, provincial executives. For the other opposition coalition, Lamuka, who was claiming a big victory for his candidate Martin Fayulu , there is more dispute than the results. Félix Tshisekedi, president, guarantees the survival of the Kabila regime.

This is denounced by Eve Bazaiba, general secretary of the MLC, member of Lamuka: " Nehemie Mwilanya, Joseph Kabila's chief of staff, said: 'we changed our hat, the head remains the same'. This is the continuity of Kabila, presented differently. Because it's Kabila who's holding the baton. And he (Felix Tshisekedi) is only a hat that can change at any time, it is not excluded. "

However, there are expectations and they are immense. Especially on the side of civil society, very divided, between those who still claim the truth of the polls and those who see in the taking office of Felix Tshisekedi the opportunity for a change of governance. This is particularly the case of the Acaj, the Access to Justice Association. Me Georges Kapiamba believes that with the powers vested in the President by the Constitution, Felix Tshisekedi can impose the desired change and especially thanks to his power of appointment, on the back, the misery of the Congolese people.

" We ask, we strongly urge the new president to be vigilant about the personalities they name so as to prevent those who are involved in blood crimes, economic crimes, who have ostentatiously enriched themselves no longer benefit from positions of responsibility ", questions Me Georges Kapiamba.

Among the gestures that are expected from civil society: the end of impunity and the opening of the political space that has been steadily decreasing for four years, with, among other things, the release of all political prisoners, the return of the exiles and the restoration of the right to protest.

    On the same subject

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    DRC: What strategy and room for maneuver for Martin Fayulu?

    Elections in DRC: EU recognizes Felix Tshisekedi's victory

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