The electoral commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo has declared Felix Tshisekedi, the leader of the opposition party, winner of the country’s presidential election.

Announcing the result on Thursday, Corneille Nangaa, the President of the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), told a news conference that Tshisekedi won with 38.57 per cent of more than 18 million ballots cast.

The presidential election, held in December 2018, has been rife with crisis, which led to a shutdown of internet services to forestall breakdown of law and order.

According to Reuters, the runner-up dismissed the result as an "electoral coup".

The result will see to the transfer of power from a democratic government for the first time in Congo.

"Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo is declared the provisionally-elected president of Democratic Republic of Congo," Nangaa said while declaring the result at the CENI headquarters.

The announcement has elicited mixed reactions.

In his remarks to his supporters at his campaign headquarters, Tshisekedi referred to current President Joseph Kabila, as "an important political partner", and expressed his determination to see to true development for the people of Congo.

Kabila became president in 2001, 10 days after the assassination of his father, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who had himself been President since 1997. 

After succeeding his father, Kabila was elected President in 2006, and re-elected for a second term In 2011.

Also, if the result goes unchallenged, this would be Congo’s first democratic transition of power since gaining independence in 1960.

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