Felix Tshisekedi Sworn in As President
The new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi has been sworn in in Kinshasa.
His swearing in represents the first peaceful transition of power in six decades, a momentous occasion for the country’s 80 million inhabitants.
On Wednesday, outgoing President Joseph Kabila, who has held power for 18 years, urged the nation to accept their new leader. "It is also symbolic of the growing crystallization of democratic culture in our country that the lucky elected official, the beneficiary of this historic alternation as the head of the state, came from the opposition party," he said on national television.
The election was not without controversy with the opposition objecting to the result. Martin Fayulu said it was in fact he that won the December poll. The very influential Catholic Church backed his claim and his supporters protested earlier this week when his bid for a recount was rejected.
There remain concerns of Kabila’s proximity to power as it is unlikely he’ll remove himself completely. He will continue in politics as president of the Senate. One analyst noted;
"We know that the elephant in the room is Kabila," he said. "Kabila was, Kabila hasn't left. And as long as Kabila is still in the country and still in the deal, he will still be controlling everything and that's how we are optimistic about the country, but about Felix Tshisekedi's presidency, he has work to do."