SADC Recognizes Tshisekedi as President-elect, Calls for Respect of DRC’s Sovereignty

Felix Tshisekedi, DRC's President-elect waves to his supporters recently.(Photo: Reuters)

The Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Dr Hage G. Geingob has congratulated Felix Tshisekedi on his election as President of DRC.

Dr Geingob who is President of Namibia issued a statement congratulating the people of DRC, the political leadership, and all stakeholders in the country “for conducting the elections in a peaceful manner despite the security and logistical challenges”.

“On behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and on my behalf as the Chairperson, we congratulate the President-elect of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mr Felix Tshisekedi, following the national elections that were conducted on 30 December 2018 and the ruling of the Constitutional Court on 19 January 2019,” the SADC Chairman said.

SADC has called upon all Congolese “to accept the outcome, and consolidate democracy and maintain a peaceful and stable environment following the landmark elections”.

The regional bloc has further appealed to all stakeholders to support the President-elect and his Government in maintaining unity, peace and stability and attaining socio-economic development in the DRC.

“SADC looks forward to a peaceful transfer of power to the President-elect”.

The statement follows the ruling by the Constitutional court in DRC upholding opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi as the legitimate winner of the December 30 Presidential election. The ruling confirmed what the electoral commission announced recently.

Tshisekedi was declared the winner of the election by the Electoral Commission in its provisional results some few weeks ago.

The results by the electoral commission gave Tshisekedi 38.5% of the vote and his closest challenger, Martin Fayulu with 34.7%.
Emmanuel Shadary of the ruling coalition pollee 23.8%.

However, Fayulu, an opposition candidate rejected the results by the electoral body citing fraud. He also alleged that Tshisekedi had connived with the incumbent President, Joseph Kabila to “rig” the election in his (Tshisekedi) favour. Fayulu then filed an appeal in court challenging the result.

In its ruling, the Constitutional court said Fayulu had failed to prove that the election commission had announced false results.

SADC has stressed the need to respect the sovereignty of the DRC.

“SADC reiterates the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC, and commits its support to the Government of DRC in line with the SADC Treaty, and the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation,” the statement read.

Last week, a section of African leaders under the African Union and regional blocs met in Ethiopia over the disputed election in DRC and asked that Congo delays the declaration of final re sults citing “serious doubts” in the provisional results.

President Paul Kagame is set to lead a delegation to DR Congo. However, the Congolese government dismissed the call by select AU regional leaders as “undue interference.”

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