DRC elections: Belgium congratulates Tshisekedi despite 'irregularities'

Belgium has congratulated the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, on his election victory. Tshisekedi was re-elected president in the elections held on 20 and 21 December.

Provisional results announced 10 days ago by the country's electoral commission, Ceni, showed that Tshisekedi had won 73 per cent of the vote. The Constitutional Court confirmed this victory on Tuesday, after rejecting an appeal by a rival candidate.

The opposition had earlier urged the international community not to recognise the provisional results

In a press release on X, the Belgian ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its satisfaction at "the democratic impetus once again demonstrated by the people during these elections, despite the difficulties, in particular the numerous logistical and operational problems and the reported irregularities".

The statement implicitly refers to the electoral commission's decision to cancel the votes of 82 candidates, including some political heavyweights, in certain constituencies due to fraud and corruption. "We encourage the independent national electoral commission to continue its investigations and take action" against those responsible for the fraud, the ministry said.

The opposition had earlier called for the election to be annulled, alleging "massive fraud", and urged the international community not to recognise the provisional results. The Congolese government and electoral commission have said the vote was free and fair and rejected calls for a re-run.


President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi and Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, 20 September 2023 © BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

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