Celebrations in Congo’s capital as opposition candidate wins
JOYOUS dancing erupted in the streets of Congo’s capital to celebrate the surprise victory of opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi, who was early Thursday declared winner of the longdelayed, disorganized and controversial presidential election.
“Today I am happy,” said Tshisekedi. “Happy for you, my base (his supporters). Happy for the people of Congo. Everyone is celebrating that there is peace. No one could imagine the scenario where an opposition candidate could be victorious!”
However, rival opposition candidate Martin Fayulu charged the results had been rigged by outgoing President Joseph Kabila who made a backroom deal with Tshisekedi. Kabila may have negotiated with Tshisekedi to prevent anti-corruption crusader Fayulu from winning, according to Fayulu, diplomats and observers.
Tshisekedi, who received 38 percent of the vote according to the electoral commission’s results, had not been widely considered the leading candidate and is relatively untested. Long in the shadow of his father, the now deceased opposition leader Etienne, Tshisekedi startled Congo shortly before the election by breaking away from the unified opposition candidate, Fayulu, to stand on his own. – AP