The United States is the latest to accept Felix Tshisekedi as the duly elected president of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), despite rival Martin Fayulu’s allegations of widespread fraud. Notably, the African Union and European Union have also signaled that they are ready to work with Tshisekedi.
“The United States welcomes the Congolese Constitutional Court’s certification of Felix Tshisekedi as the next president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” said State Department spokesman Robert Palladino in a statement adding, “We are committed to working with the new DRC government. We encourage the government to include a broad representation of Congo’s political stakeholders and to address reports of electoral irregularities.”
Palladino also called out outgoing president Joseph Kabila for peacefully transferring power, a first in DR Congo since its 1960 independence from Belgium. Kabila remained the President of DRC since succeeding his assassinated father in 2001 at the age of 29, amidst a regional war that led to millions of deaths.
“The United States salutes the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for their insistence on a peaceful and democratic transfer of power,” he added, reported Africa News.
The US had earlier expressed concerns about the poll results after Fayulu claimed that he received 61 percent of the vote and accused Tshisekedi of rigging the voting results with Kabila. He even declared himself as the only legitimate president of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In related news, Fridolin Ambongo, who is the leader of the Catholic Church in the DRC, told French broadcaster, RFI, that he is worried that outgoing Kabila will continue to control affairs of state even after he officially exits office.
“I am very worried that the same system will continue with the new president,” Archbishop Ambongo said.
When asked about the upcoming swearing-in of the new president, he said the church will consider whether to attend or not. Tshisekedi will be sworn in as DR Congo’s next president on Thursday at the Palace of the Nation.