President-Elect of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo is the leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party. He will assume the duties of the office of President of the DRC on January 22, 2019
Felix was born June 13, 1963, in a city then named Léopoldville, which is now known as the capital city of Kinshasa. His father is the late Étienne Tshisekedi, ethnically Luba, and a former Prime Minister of Zaire having served 3 terms in the 1990’s. His mother is Marthe Kasalu Jibikila.
Félix had a comfortable early life. But when his father created the UDPS in the early 1980’s, publicly opposing Mobutu, the entire family was forced to accompany Étienne Tshisekedi in house arrest in a village in central Kasaï. In 1985, Felix, his mother, and his brothers were able to leave Kasaï and move to Brussels, Belgium. In Brussels Felix worked at odd jobs, enjoyed the night life, and became an active UDPS militant.
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In late 2008, Tshisekedi was named UDPS National Secretary for external relations. In November 2011, after obtaining a seat in the National Assembly, representing the city of Mbuji Mayi in Kasai-Oriental province. But he refused to take his seat due to what he claimed were fraudulent election practices.
In May 2013, he refused a position of rapporteur at the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), because CENI’s article 17 excludes membership for those who are members of a political formation.
In October 2016, Tshisekedi became vice secretary general of the UDPS serving under his father. On March 31, 2018, following his father’s death, he was elected to lead the UDPS. On that same day, he was chosen by his party to be the UDPS presidential candidate in the general election that would eventually take place on December 30, 2018.
Election as President of the DRC
Following the historic elections held in December of 2018, it was announced On January 10, 2019 that Tshisekedi was the winner for the office of President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Martin Fayulu, the runner-up, alleged rigging and challenged the election results. On 19 January, the challenge was dismissed by the Constitutional Court, officially making Tshisekedi president-elect.
In this victory, he also defeated d Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary who had been hand picked by outgoing president Joseph Kabila as what was alleged to have been a puppet scheme for Kabila to remain in power behind the scenes.