|The opposition has threatened to turn Kinshasa into a ‘ghost town’ in protest against election results [Al Jazeera]|
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, has declared that he was president-elect and said he will take the oath this week.
“I will take the oath next Friday, at Martyrs Stadium in Kinshasa”, Tshisekedi, 79, said at his home in the capital on Sunday, just two days after the country’s highest court upheld President Joseph Kabila’s election victory in November’s polls.
“I consider myself the president-elect of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it is in that capacity that I address you this evening and thank the people for the confidence they have placed in me,” he said, seated at a desk with the
Congolese flag behind him.
Supreme court vice-president Jerome Kitoko on Friday formally declared that Kabila had won 48.95 per cent of the vote against 32.33 per cent for Tshisekedi – confirming the results announced by the election commission on December 9.
The European Union, the non-profit Carter Center and other election monitors have voiced serious concern about the credibility of the November 28 polls, citing problems in the vote count and the loss of huge numbers of ballots.
The United States said the elections – just the second in the DR Congo since back-to-back wars from 1996 to 2003 – were “seriously flawed” and Belgium and France have also questioned their credibility.
The declaration of Kabila as winner sparked violent protests and looting in the capital earlier this month and calls from opposition leaders for the international community to intervene.
On Sunday, Tshisekedi’s cabinet director Albert Moleka welcomed the press to the veteran opposition leader’s home saying: “Welcome to the presidency of the republic.”
Tshisekedi urged Congolese citizens “not only to retain their calm and serenity … but also to create the climate of confidence that investors are looking for”.
“I am not ready to negotiate with [electoral commission chief Daniel Ngoy] Mulunda nor with Kabila,” he said.
Kabila, who had secured 100 per cent of votes cast at several polling stations, admitted on Monday there were flaws in the election that handed him a new five-year term but denied the vote lacked credibility.