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DRC: Tshisekedi supporters celebrate his re-election

Supporters of Felix Tshisekedi celebrate the victory of their candidate in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.   -  
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Samy Ntumba Shambuyi/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.

Democratic Republic Of Congo

A wave of jubilation swept through the ranks of Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo's supporters on Sunday, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, creating an atmosphere of sheer joy and excitement.

The exuberance was triggered by the announcement from the country's election commission, officially declaring Tshisekedi's resounding re-election with an impressive majority, securing over 70% of the total votes cast. 

The enthusiastic celebration among his followers reflected a deep sense of satisfaction and confidence in the leadership of their chosen candidate, as they eagerly anticipated the continuation of Tshisekedi's tenure.

 Prince Mukinayi, a member of Tshisekedi's UDPS party, expressed joy, stating, “I'm delighted that our president has been re-elected. All Congolese, everywhere, we are happy, and we will give him the chance for our country to be developed.”

Despite the enthusiasm, opposition candidates and civil society groups demanded a vote rerun, citing massive logistical issues that allegedly undermined the balloting. Tshisekedi's resounding victory intensified concerns.

Businessman Moise Katumbi secured second place with 18%, followed by Martin Fayulu at 5%. Even Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege, renowned for treating victims of sexual violence, received less than 1%.

Addressing his supporters at headquarters, Tshisekedi expressed gratitude for another five-year term. With 18 million voters and a 40% turnout, the results are now headed to the constitutional court for confirmation, as indicated by election chief Denis Kadima.

Opposition candidates, including Katumbi, rejected the results before Sunday's announcement, calling on the population to mobilize. As Congo's history of disputed elections looms, the final outcome, scheduled for January 10, remains uncertain, with potential challenges casting a shadow over the electoral process.

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