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What next for the DR Congo after the disputed election?

19 14 18

The unexpected outcome of the December 30 general election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) baffled even the most seasoned watchers of the country.

If we are to believe the provisional results announced by the Congolese National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) on January 9, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi decisively won the presidential election with 36.6 percent of the votes. The runner up was Martin Fayulu, the leader of the Lamuka coalition, who scored 34.8 percent. And Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, the presidential candidate of Joseph Kabila's ruling Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition, came third with 23.8 percent.

However, the FCC coalition won the senatorial and legislative elections in a landslide. In other words, at least according to the CENI, the Congolese people overwhelmingly rejected Ramazani Shadary's presidential bid, but gave the coalition supporting him a super majority in both the senate and the parliament.

This puzzling result led most reasonable observers of the election to come to the conclusion that Tshisekedi's unexpected win was the result of a backroom deal between Tshisekedi and the FCC coalition aiming to help Kabila maintain control over important ministries and the security services with the help of a "friendly president" in the coming years.

This is not a far-fetched scenario. As stipulated in the constitution, upon leaving the presidency, Joseph Kabila will become a senator for life and preside over the senate. We can also assume that Kabila's coalition will most certainly maintain its control over the military, foreign affairs, homeland security, the budget, and the mining sector. If these assumptions stand, it is a foregone conclusion that the focus of........

© Al Jazeera