News / Africa

    Congo Opposition Leader Ready To Take Oath Office, Says Adviser

    Opposition UDPS members hold up blood-splattered poster of leader Etienne Tshisekedi after presidential guard opened fire on crowd outside N'Djili airport in Kinshasa, November 26, 2011.
    Opposition UDPS members hold up blood-splattered poster of leader Etienne Tshisekedi after presidential guard opened fire on crowd outside N'Djili airport in Kinshasa, November 26, 2011.

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    • Clottey interview with Valentine Mubake, political adviser to DRC's main opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi

    Peter Clottey

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a political adviser says main opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi will be installed as the next president at a stadium in the capital, Kinshasa today (Friday).

    Valentine Mubake says Friday’s swearing-in will proceed, despite concerns Mr. Tshisekedi as well as some of his supporters could be arrested for violating the constitution. The government says Kinshasa’s police force may arrest him.

    “All the Congolese who are convinced that Mr. Tshisekedi has been elected by them as DRC president will go with [him] to give their support to [him] … as president of DRC officially elected by the people of Congo,” said Mubake. “

    Congo’s Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) declared incumbent Joseph Kabila winner of the November 28 presidential vote with over 48 percent. Mr. Tshisekedi was second garnering about 32 percent. Tshisekedi rejected the outcome  and declared himself winner.

    The U.S.-based Carter Center poll observer mission, who monitored the ballot, called into question the integrity of the election because of what it said were wide variations in the quality of vote counting.

    Mr. Kabila took the oath of office Tuesday in Kinshasa. None of the nine leaders of countries that share a common border with Congo witnessed the inauguration. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was the only African head of state who participated in the ceremony.

    Political adviser Mubake says the reluctance of African leaders to participate in Mr. Kabila’s swearing-in shows “the former president lost the election.”

    “Mr. Kabila who won the election by massive fraud today says he can be the president of Congo – (not) when all the [observer] reports say this man has put in place a massive system of fraud in order to maintain himself as the president of Congo,” said Mubake.

    Some analysts say the installation of the opposition leader could create chaos and possible instability, an assertion Mr. Tshisekedi’s adviser denies.

    “Before thinking about the destabilization of the country, we have to think about the truth of the vote. The reality of the elections is that Mr. Tshisekedi has been elected by the Congolese people,” continued Mubake. “That (means) the stabilization of Congo and that is ,,,, reality.

    He warns the country could be plunged into crisis if the opposition leader is arrested Friday.

    “Mr. Tshisekedi has been elected by the large majority of Congolese so to arrest such a man means to make fire to Congo and nobody will be able to stop this fire,” said Mubake.

    He maintained that the opposition leader is the only legitimate winner of the vote who, he says, will be installed as the next president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Friday.

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