DR Congo president hails victory on first trip abroad

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DR Congo’s new president, Felix Tshisekedi, on Tuesday defended his disputed election victory as he visited neighbouring Angola on his first trip abroad since being sworn in last month.

“I know that there have been some imperfections, some irregularities in these elections, but overall it went well because this change of leadership was done peacefully,” Tshisekedi told reporters.

Tshisekedi was inaugurated in January following the December polls, but runner-up Martin Fayulu has dismissed the result as an “electoral coup” masterminded by long-term outgoing president Joseph Kabila.

Standing by his Angolan counterpart Joao Lourenco, the Congolese president dismissed any controversy over his victory.

“To this day, I’m still waiting for the evidence of the one who challenges the verdict of the Constitutional Court. I still have not seen anything,” Tshisekedi said, referring to Fayulu.

The handover marked the country’s first-ever peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

Tshisekedi confirmed he was ready to share power with Kabila’s supporters who control parliament after winning an overwhelming majority in national assembly.

“There is no agreement yet, but there are discussions… I undertook to send a message of conciliation to Mr. Joseph Kabila and his friends,” Tshisekedi said.