Who is DRC president elect Felix 'Fatshi' Tshisekedi?

Who is DRC president elect Felix 'Fatshi' Tshisekedi?

Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi has won the long-awaited presidential poll in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the electoral commission said Thursday, paving the way for the country's first handover of power in 18 years.

The announcement of DRC's 30 December election results will likely be delayed to March or April (while four excluded localities vote), effectively extending the administration of incumbent President Joseph Kabila through this period.

Felix Tshisekedi is the son of Congo's historic opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, who died in 2017.

Some observers have suggested that President Joseph Kabila's government sought to make a deal as hopes faded for a win for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who received more than 4 million votes, or 23 percent.

The Tshisekedi's victory is deeply controversial as pre-election polls had given outspoken opposition frontrunner Martin Fayulu, a respected former business executive, a healthy lead.

Voting regulations prohibit anyone but the electoral commission from announcing results.

"The CENI plans to devote 24 to 48 hours to this task, after which time the CENI will schedule the announcement of the provisional results", he said.

Kabila's choice of successor fuelled accusations that the long-time leader - concerned about possible retribution - would use Shadary to protect his interests after the vote.

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After deploying tens of thousands of its own election observers, the powerful Catholic Church last week said it knew the outcome of the ballot and called on the authorities to reveal the result "in keeping with truth and justice". Kabila has promised a peaceful transition of power.

Two of the diplomats said other observation missions, including one conducted by the African Union and one by the Southern African Development Community, also shows that Fayulu received the most votes, the AP reports.

Tshisekedi "is provisionally proclaimed elected as president", CENI President Corneille Nangaa said. Opposition and activist groups had urged people to be ready to protest on the streets if the results didn't match "the truth of the ballot boxes".

Observers said many polling stations opened late and closed early and in some places voting machines malfunctioned.

The opposition was weakened by internal arguments and the exclusion by the electoral commission of two political heavyweights: Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former warlord, and Moïse Katumbi, a popular tycoon. Anti-riot police with water cannon are outside the building.

Now Congo faces a new leader who is little known after spending many years in Belgium and living in the shadow of his outspoken father.

"He said he is will to be a president for all the people of Congo and thanked Fayulu and Shadary, saying he is willing to work with them to build a better Congo", Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from Kinshasa, said.

While Nshole acknowledged the difficulties in manually counting votes, especially in remote areas, he warned that the longer the election results are delayed, the more that suspicion will grow among the Congolese people.

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