Democratic Republic of Congo’s president elect Felix Tshisekedi received a chorus of congratulations from African leaders on Sunday and Monday in a growing sign that his disputed election win will not be questioned internationally.
International allies and neighbours had struggled to come to a consensus after the December thirtieth poll that observers said was marred by a series of irregularities including malfunctioning voting machines and polling stations that opened late or closed early.
Runner-up candidate Martin Fayulu said the election was rigged and Congo’s Catholic Church also contested the result. Many worry that outgoing president Joseph Kabila will continue to hold sway, limiting Tshisekedi’s power.
In a surprise statement last week, the African Union asked for the final results to be postponed because of “serious doubts” over the conduct of the election. But since the Constitutional Court early on Sunday rejected Fayulu’s complaint and backed Tshisekedi’s victory, opposition to the vote appears to have softened. Tshisekedi is expected to be sworn in on the twenty-fourth of January.