Re-elected President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi was on Saturday, sworn into office for a second five-year term amid lingering disputes.
President Tshisekedi, 60, was declared winner by the electoral commission (CENI), following a fiercely contested December 20 elections. He reportedly won over 70 percent of the total vote cast.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the 80,000-capacity Martyrs sports stadium in the country’s capital Kinshasa.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Congolese President said his return to office would mark a better time for Congo in key areas of governance.
“I am taking back the baton of command that you entrusted to me. We want a more united, stronger and prosperous Congo,” he said.
“I am aware of your expectations,” he added.
President Tshisekedi’s victory sparked some protests from the 25 opposition candidates, who said the election was a sham, and rejected its outcome.
Opposition candidates including Martin Fayulu, Denis Mukwege, Théodore Ngoy, and others called for a cancellation of the polls.
“I thought that the harm done to democracy, human rights and the rule of law should not be confirmed by the Court without the Céni having to justify itself” Théodore Ngoy, who is a Pastor and Professor of Law said. Ngoy had the least vote in the elections with 0.02%.
The Congolese authorities stepped up security to forestall any post-electoral upheavals, given that the country has a history of disputed elections that sometimes escalate.
President Tshisekedi’s second term is haunted by failed promises of his last six years in office.