March 3rd, 2024

Congo’s Tshisekedi sworn in for second term as president, promising to unite, secure the nation

By By Jean-yves Kamale, The Associated Press on January 20, 2024.

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) – Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi was sworn in Saturday following a disputed December election, promising to unite the Central African country during his second five-year term and to protect lives in the conflict-hit eastern region.

“I am taking back the baton of command that you entrusted to me. We want a more united, stronger and prosperous Congo,” Tshikedi, 60, said during the inauguration ceremony attended by several heads of state. His first inauguration in 2019 marked Congo’s first democratic transfer of power since the country’s independence from Belgium in 1960.

Tshisekedi won reelection with more than 70% of the vote, according to the election commission. However, opposition candidates and their supporters questioned the validity of the election, which was mired in logistical problems.

Many polling stations were late in opening or didn’t open at all while some lacked materials. Voter turnout was 40%, the election commission said.

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