Felix Tshisekedi emerged as a surprise winner of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) December presidential election, succeeding Joseph Kabila. Elections often cannot pass without rigging clamours in Africa, a sanctuary of sham elections. And in DRC, observers argued, it was the first ever election rigged by a sitting president in favour an opposition candidate.
Tshisekedi is a president walking in the shadow of Kabila. He has not appointed a government. This is because Kabila’s party—Common Front for Congo (FCC)—won majority of the national assembly seats. FCC won 288 national assembly seats out of 500, exceeding 50% percent, a prerequisite for forming government. Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress and its affiliate Union for the Congolese (UNC) won a paltry 46 seats. The remaining seats were shared by other political groups.
Kabila’s appointee, Bruno Tshibala remains the prime minister. Tshisekedi and Kabila agreed to form a yet to be actualised coalition government.
Tshisekedi has paid a visit to Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta. The leaders have discussed regional security and trade. A conflict free Congo is a gift that Great Lakes Region awaits to glean from Tshisekedi.