Aspirations and Realities in Africa: The DRC’s Electoral Sideshow

Issue Date July 2019
Volume 30
Issue 3
Page Numbers 124-138
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Read the full essay here.

The long-delayed Congolese presidential elections of 30 December 2018 resulted, by most credible accounts, in a landslide victory for opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, with the candidate backed by the regime of outgoing president Joseph Kabila coming a distant third. Yet a third candidate, Felix Tshisekedi, was announced the winner after he struck a power-sharing deal with Kabila. The massive legislative- and provincial-election victories that were announced for Kabila’s supporters—so far without any evidence, as with the presidential results—suggest Tshisekedi’s difficult position. This fraudulent outcome was met with lukewarm criticism but eventual acquiescence by foreign powers. Whether this transactional arrangement can survive remains to be seen.

About the Author

Pierre Englebert is H. Russell Smith Professor of International Relations at Pomona College and nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. He is coauthor (with Kevin C. Dunn) of Inside African Politics (2nd ed. 2019).

View all work by Pierre Englebert