Democratic Republic of Congo’s
presidential election winner Felix Tshisekedi on Thursday (January 10) paid his
respects to outgoing President Joseph Kabila, whom he described as a partner in
democratic change.

Speaking to thousands of cheering supporters in the capital Kinshasa, Tshisekedi said he would be the president of all Congolese. Tshisekedi, candidate of the Cap for Change (CACH) coalition and UDPS party leader, won with 38.57 percent of more than 18 million ballots cast, Corneille Nangaa, the president of the election commission (CENI), told a news conference at about 3 a.m. (0200 GMT), that appeared timed to avoid any immediate reaction in the streets. In the Kinshasa neighbourhood of Limete where Tshisekedi lives, thousands of people danced in the streets in celebration and cars slowed down and honked their horns. If Tshisekedi’s victory is confirmed in the next 10 days by the constitutional court, he will become the first leader to take power at the ballot box since Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, who was toppled in a coup less than three months after independence in 1960 and killed four months later.