In interview, presidential candidate Tshisekedi says majority of Congolese have turned against President Kabila; so from today on, he is the president of Congo
In an interview broadcast Sunday evening on Radio Lisanga TV, a station close to the opposition, Etienne Tshisekedi stirred controversy and radicalized the tone of the election campaign when he declared himself president of Congo today.
I have transcribed and translated what I could hear of the interview in the below clip. Speaking from South Africa, where he has reportedly been since the beginning of the election campaign 10 days ago, he denied that the Congolese government had refused his plane a landing permission, thereby contradicting his own party spokesman.
He went on to say that President Kabila had no support, that only his wife is still with him. Most controversially, he self-proclaimed himself president of the Congo, starting today, because, he said, the majority of the people was with him.
In another part of the interview that I haven't yet heard myself, he is reported to have said: "I call on supporters (combattants) everywhere in the country to go to the prisons, to break down the doors and to liberate my supporters." He continued: "I'm giving a 48-hour deadline for all opposition prisoners to be released. Past that deadline, I will ask the population to attack prisons and free them, and as president, I'm ordering prison guards not to resist."
He was apparently referring to his supporters who had been arrested during recent demonstrations. This prompted the government to shut down the TV station, which belongs to the opposition MP and former rebel leader Roger Lumbala.
The UDPS confirmed that the interview was authentic.