DRC: Protests Erupt in Goma as Opposition Challenges Election Results

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, tensions are rising after widespread protests erupted against the preliminary results of the presidential election. The protests, mainly concentrated in the city of Goma, were triggered by the announcement of incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi’s landslide victory, securing over 70% of the vote. However, the opposition and civil society groups are challenging the election’s legitimacy, citing significant logistical issues that they believe may have influenced the results.

Tshisekedi’s Substantial Lead Amid Controversy
Despite the controversies, Tshisekedi maintained a significant lead in the election. Businessman Moise Katumbi received 18% of the vote, while Martin Fayulu secured 5%. Denis Mukwege, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate known for his work with victims of sexual violence, received less than 1% of the vote. The election, which saw a turnout of over 40%, involved approximately 18 million voters. The final confirmation of these results is pending review by the constitutional court.

Protests Erupt Over Disputed Election Results
The announcement of the preliminary results has sparked a wave of protests, particularly in the eastern city of Goma. Opposition candidates and their supporters have rejected the results, demanding new elections and the establishment of a new electoral body. Tshisekedi’s re-election has faced backlash due to perceived transparency issues in the electoral process, leading to low confidence in the country’s institutions among many Congolese.

These protests and calls for a new election highlight a deeper crisis of legitimacy within the state. Tshisekedi’s previous election in 2018 was also contested, and his tenure has been criticized for its handling of violence and conflict in the country. As tensions persist, the public is eagerly awaiting the constitutional court’s decision on the election results. The opposition continues to mobilize its supporters, emphasizing the ongoing nature of this legitimacy crisis.

Piers Potter


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