In a controversial move reminiscent of past election disputes, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has preemptively congratulated Felix Tshisekedi on his claimed victory in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Despite glaring evidence pointing to a rigged DRC election, Ramaphosa’s premature endorsement echoes his questionable support for Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe’s contested 2023 election.

Before the official announcement of results on Sunday, opposition DRC figures, including Katumbi, vehemently rejected the outcome, urging the public to mobilize against what they deemed a sham election.

The electoral process was marred by logistical challenges, with numerous polling stations facing delays, material shortages, and illegible voter cards due to smudged ink.

The election, extended into a second day, faced criticism from local observers and civil society organizations, labelling the extension as illegal.

Widespread irregularities led to parts of the country continuing to cast ballots five days after the initial election day.

Tensions escalated earlier in the week, with clashes erupting between supporters of opposition candidate Fayulu and police officers.

Tear gas, thrown rocks, and barricaded opposition headquarters painted a grim picture of a nation on edge.

Opposition candidates challenging the results have a two-day window to submit their claims, after which the constitutional court has seven days to decide.

The final results are slated for January 10, with the president set to be sworn in by the end of the month.

Ramaphosa’s controversial endorsement raises eyebrows, echoing his past support for Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe, a move criticized by regional bodies and international observers.

Like Zimbabwe, DRC grapples with a history of disputed elections prone to violence, the lack of confidence in institutional integrity remains a pressing concern for many Congolese citizens.

Source Zimeye