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  Congo Election Panel Names Opposition Candidate the Victor of Presidential Vote
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ContributorIndyGeorgia 
Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Jan 09, 2019 08:41pm
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CategoryNews
AuthorKimiko de Freytas-Tamura
News DateWednesday, January 9, 2019 11:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionCongolese election officials, rejecting independent assessments that a prominent opposition figure was the runaway winner of the recent presidential election, on Thursday bestowed victory on a candidate considered more acceptable to the departing President Joseph Kabila.

The decision dashed hopes that the country might experience its first undisputed transfer of power by the ballot box since independence six decades ago. And it was unclear how it would sit with the population.

Still, however malleable Felix Tshisekedi, the candidate named as the winner of the presidential vote by the country’s electoral commission, may seem to Mr. Kabila, he was not his first choice. Mr. Kabila had backed a top aide to succeed him.

The announcement amounted to a startling admission by the government that Mr. Kabila’s candidate had suffered a defeat so big that his government could not simply hand him the presidency without risking widespread violence and international condemnation.

But Mr. Tshisekedi appeared to have been far from the top vote-getter; he was declared the victor amid speculation that his campaign had reached some kind of a power-sharing agreement with the government.
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