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Felix Tshisekedi sworn in as DR Congo president for new term

President-elect of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Felix Tshisekedi attends the swearing-in ceremony in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jan. 20, 2024. (Str/Xinhua)

KINSHASA, DRC | Xinhua | Felix Tshisekedi, president-elect of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was sworn in Saturday for his second five-year term in office at a ceremony attended by regional leaders and other foreign dignitaries.

The DRC Constitutional Court in early January officially confirmed the reelection of President Felix Tshisekedi following the Dec. 20 polls. Tshisekedi secured 73.47 percent of the vote, while main opposition candidate Moise Katumbi trailed behind with 18.08 percent.

The inauguration took place at the Martyrs Stadium of Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, in the presence of about 20 heads of state, mainly from Africa, and several high-level foreign representatives.

In his inauguration speech, he promised to take action, including the creation of more jobs, the protection of purchasing power for households, national security, economic diversification, and access to basic services. He denounces the resilient threats against the DRC while observing a minute of silence in memory of the heroes fallen and victims killed by barbarism in the DRC.

“Today, a new era is born, an era of maturity, a magnified era, an era transcended by the renewed oath ‘Never betray the Congo,'” reelected President Felix Tshisekedi declared.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission that oversaw the general elections, more than 18 million Congolese, from a total of 44 million registered voters, cast their ballots in the elections for the president, the National Assembly and the 26 provincial assemblies. The process, however, was not without controversy as opposition candidates raised allegations of irregularities, which the electoral commission said would not impact the election outcome.

This election was significant as it marked the second peaceful transfer of power in the country’s history since independence in 1960. In 2018, Tshisekedi ascended to power after winning the election, marking the country’s first peaceful transfer of power since its independence from Belgium. ■

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