Key Issues

DR Congo swears in new President

The new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi has been sworn into office.

Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta was the only African head of state, out of 17 invited, to watch the ceremony at the presidential palace in Kinshasa.

President Tshisekedi is taking over from Joseph Kabila in the first peaceful transfer of power in the country in nearly 60 years. But many still dispute his victory in last month’s presidential election.

Numerous sources say his opponent Martin Faylulu won a landslide victory and has been denied office by a backroom deal between Mr Kabila and Mr Tshisekedi.

The influential Catholic Church, which deployed election observers on voting day, said the official data did not match its own numbers.

Mr Fayulu’s appeal to the Constitutional Court for a vote re-count was rejected and critics say the body is too close to outgoing President Kabila and lacks independence.

Call for support

Addressing the nation on Wednesday, Mr Kabila said he had no regrets and called on Congolese citizens to support his successor, who he said could call on him for advice at any time.

Yet many people there believe the handover demonstrates that DR Congo is becoming more democratic, report says.

The new president is mostly known for being the son of the late veteran opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who was regarded as one of DR Congo’s most important pro-democracy advocates.

The UDPS party President Tshisekedi leads was founded in 1982 by his father, who turned it into the largest opposition party. But President Tshisekedi, 55, insists he is not trying to rival his father.

Source: Voice of Nigeria