After the controversial election victory, Félix Tshisekedi is now the new president of the Central African country. Not an easy task, especially since he has won only with the help of the old Kabila government, says Andrea Schmidt.
The good news is that, for the first time in the history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there is a peaceful change of power. But he has a bitter aftertaste.
Although the new president, Félix Tshisekedi, has left behind the largest opposition party UDPS (Union for Democracy and Social Progress), most of the observers believe that he won the election only through electoral fraud and the protection of the unpopular Kabila regime. His strongest opponent in the elections of December 30, Martin Fayulu of the opposition alliance Lamuka got, according to secret reports from polling stations with more than 60 percent by far the most votes.
Little response to Fayulus protest calls
The Congolese are disappointed by the pseudo-democratic elections in their country. However, there is little public response to Fayulu’s appeal for protest. People finally want development, unity and peace after decades of conflict. They are sick and tired of the growing clique of a clique of clerics, with small children dying of diarrhea, people starving, militia fleeing, women being raped on a massive scale, lack of infrastructure and high unemployment.
Andrea Schmidt leads the Kisuaheli editorial office
Away with the prevailing social Darwinism, in which only the strong can prevail and the poor suffer more and more! Tshisekedi must prove in the next few years that he just does not rule as a puppet of Kabila. The 55-year-old has to show that, in spite of being neither fair nor transparent, he wants to and can be the president of all Congolese. It will not be easy, because Kabila’s PPRD (Popular Party for the Restoration of Democracy) has a majority in parliament. And she will try to claim Tshisekedi’s promises, which were probably agreed behind closed doors. But the example of Angola has shown that even a new president like João Lourenço, who came to power only with the blessing of the old Dos Santos regime, is swimming free and against old,
Include the opposition
Making economic progress in the DRC and pacifying the country with its approximately 80 million inhabitants and dozens of heavily armed rebel groups will not be an easy task. Especially after this obvious electoral fraud. Therefore, Tshisekedi must also try to include the opposition alliance Lamuka, behind formerly powerful politicians such as Jean-Pierre Bemba and the exiled Moïse Katumbi, in the government work of the coming years. Only then can it really come to a better, more peaceful Congo.
Stability in the Congo is not important for the countries in the Great Lakes region, but ultimately for the rest of the world, which urgently needs the resources for new technologies there. The people of this huge country, the size of continental Europe, deserve lasting peace, a functioning state and the end of impunity.