Democratic Republic of the Congo Politics

Felix Tshisekedi sworn in as DR Congo’s president

Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was sworn in on Thursday as Democratic Republic of Congo’s president, succeeding Joseph Kabila in the vast central African country’s first transfer of power through an election in 59 years of independence.

Newly sworn in president of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi appeared to be having problems with his voice while he was giving his speech at his own inauguration ceremony as president

State television interrupted its live broadcast of the event after Mr Tshisekedi said, “I don’t feel well”, and stopped speaking.

He explained that he was exhausted because of his long hours of work preparing to take over as president and the strains of the presidential campaign.

His spokesman later told Reuters that his bulletproof vest had been too tight and he had since removed it.

He took the oath of office in front of a large and joyous crowd.

President Tshisekedi faces a daunting to-do list in a country whose mineral wealth has been exploited for the benefit of a tiny minority.

High on his list is to try to eliminate the corruption that has long blighted the DR Congo.

He also has to deal with conflicts in the south and east, poor infrastructure and a continuing outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

He promised to change the electoral law in the country where his own election win has been contested by the opposition.

Felix Tshisekedi has said national reconciliation is a priority in his presidency, reports our correspondent Gaius Kowene.

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