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The “National Independent Electoral Committee” (CENI) announced the official results of the presidential elections in the Republic of Congo: surprisingly Felix Tshiesekedi, of the opposition “Union for Democracy and Social Progress” (UDPS), won with 38,5%.

By Americo Gomes.

Another candidate of the bourgeoisie supported by imperialist sectors, Martin Fayulu, from the Lamuka opposition alliance, got 34,7% of the vote. Kabila’s candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, got 23,8%. The participation rate was 47,6% of the entire population.

These numbers contradict the polls, considered reliable, of the Congo ICP and the France IPSOS, done for the Congo Research Club (CRG), and in the opinion of observers from the Catholic Episcopal Committee (CENCO), which gave Fayulu a clear victory.

Apparently, there were negotiations between Joseph Kabila and his dictatorship and Felix Tshisekedi for a “peaceful transition”. For that, Kabila prepared a fraud, which benefited his apparent adversary, since his own candidate had no chance of winning. It is said that even those 24% of the vote was part of the fraud. In the end, the approval of Kabila’s government was under 20%.

Tshisekedi and his accomplice, Vital Kamerhe, are former allies of Kabila. Both were his prime ministers in the past. In November 2018, Tshisekedi was part of the opposition, supporting Fayulu, until splitting and forming an alliance with Kamerhe.

The elections were filled with repression to the opposition: obstacles to the opposing campaigns, very dubious actions by the CENI; the massive presence of the army, and the disappearance of ballot papers and voting machines.

There was also the suspension of the voting in many places, the postponing of the elections in the territories of Beni and Lubero (both in North Kivu) because of Ebola, and in Mai Ndombe (formerly Bandundu) due to intercultural violence.

Martin Fayulu declared himself president, called the court’s decision an “institutional coup” and summoned “peaceful protests”.

Tshisekedi follows the familiar Congolese tradition of government. Like Joseph Kabila, who ruled for 18 years and inherited the presidency from his father, Laurent Kabila, murdered in 2001, Tshisekedi inherits his political wealth from his father Etienne Tshisekedi, founder of the Congolese Union for Democracy and Social Progress, who passed away on 2017. Currently he is a business partner of Cyril Ramaphosa, from South Africa, and Uhuru Kenyatta, of Kenya.

At least 34 people have been killed since the results were announced in January 10th.

Kabila is the real winner of this election

Tshisekedi will rule with Kabila’s party as the majority of Parliament, which continues controlling in a corrupt manner the vast and profitable mining sector of Congo. It is the first change of power in the country through elections in the 59 years since independence. Although there are signs that doubts remain of its credibility, Uhuru Kenyatta was the only head of State present. All the same, most African and Western countries have recognized Tshisekedi.

The legislative majority will give Kabila the Prime Minister. He installed representatives across the state bureaucracy and he will be the true ruler. Everyone says Kabila still dreams of returning to presidency in 2023, when he will no longer have any legal issues. That is, if he does not stage a coup before.

That is all without speaking of the complete, absolute and strict control over the security and armed forces he maintains through the generals. Everything points to Tshisekedi really being only a puppet of Kabila’s dictatorship, which may only be defeated by a strong popular movement.

Translated by Miki Sayoko