Incumbent Democratic Republic of the Congo President Joseph Kabila was sworn in on Tuesday for another term following last month’s disputed elections.
Main opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who claims the elections were rigged in Kabila’s favor, insists he is the rightful winner and intends to hold his own ceremony on Friday.
The BBC reports that Kabila took his oath of office in his presidential compound, with several thousand supporters watching.
The elections, held in late November, are the second since the end of country’s bloody civil war in 2003 that left more than 4 million people dead. The 2006 election was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations, however, so this was the first vote conducted independently in DRC and was considered a litmus test of their nascent democracy.The opposition has called for protests and strikes following the results of the election. International observers also said the elections were flawed, but stopped short of saying they were rigged by Kabila.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the largest countries in the world. It is around two-thirds the size of Western Europe, and has a population of 71 million.