Congo's President Joseph Kabila took the oath of office today for his second term. Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi promised to take his own oath Friday, and announced that Kabila's government was 'dismissed.'
Congo has a new president, and by Friday, it might have two.
On Tuesday, incumbent President Joseph Kabila took the oath of office after the official results from Nov. 28 elections were confirmed by the Supreme Court. The court confirmation closed the door on any investigation of an election process that international observers called “seriously flawed” and full of irregularities.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a statement expressing the Obama administration’s “disappointment” with Mr. Kabila’s decision to take the oath of office without conducting a review of the electoral process. The European Union also expressed disappointment and said the EU would “reevaluate” its support for Congo in the coming year.
The South African government and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, meanwhile, congratulated Kabila. Mr. Mugabe, the only foreign head of state to attend Kabila’s oath of office ceremony, said that Kabila had “won thunderously against [opposition leader Etienne] Tshisekedi. This must send a clear message to those who had other ideas.”