With 7 million votes, Felix Tshisekedi has been declared the President elect for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). His closest rival, Martin Fayulu garnered 6.4 million votes while Emmanuel Shaddary from the immediate ruling coalition came a distant that.
Felix Tshisekedi the leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Change (UDPS) is already being termed as the surprise winner. by all intents and purposes, victory had been predicted and was expected to go to martin Fuyulu. He even gave a statement disputing the results.
“How long are we going to negotiate results?” said Fayulu. “In 2006, Jean-Pierre Bemba’s victory was stolen, in 2011 Étienne Tshisekedi’s victory was stolen. In 2018 victory won’t be stolen from Martin Fayulu,” said a tough talking Fayulu.
Despite being the leader of the largest and oldest opposition party, he was never the favourite to win in the 30th December 2018 elections. The catholic church which was one of the largest organisations overseeing the elections has also disputed the results. The church says that victory may have been snatched from the rightful winner.
Observations from the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) also showed Martin Fayulu had garnered the highest number of votes. Martin Fuyulu is expected to challenge the results at a constitutional court.
Felix Tshisekedi is the son to former DRC opposition leader Ettinne Tshisekedi. Born on 13th June 1963, Felix got into trouble with dictator Mobutu Seseko in the early 1980s when he was forced to join his father in a house arrest. The former dictator had sentenced the senior Tshisekedi to house arrest for forming the opposition party UDPS.
Felix who becomes the first opposition leader to win an election in the Democratic Republic of Congo was forced out of the country by Mobutu in 1985. He left for Belgium with his mother and brothers where he did odd jobs and became fully active in the new party affairs.
In 2011, Felix was elected to the National Assembly representing Mbunji Mayi. He however refused to take up the seat saying it was a result of fraudulent elections. His election was later invalidated for absenteism