The 5th president of Democratic Republic of Congo falls ill during the inauguration speech

This Thursday, it was a historic day for DRC when the Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi sworn as new president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, marking the country’s first-ever peaceful handover of power after chaotic and bitterly-disputed elections.  During the ceremony, something strange happened to him and he falls ill during his inauguration speech.

After a 12-minute interruption, Tshisekedi returned to the microphone, saying: “A famous president of our country said in his time: ‘understand my emotion’.”

He was quoting the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, who said those words in 1990 as he was announcing the end of single-party rule. AFP report.

“The campaign we had to run… got the better of me,” Tshisekedi added, apologizing for the interruption as Kabila looked on impassively through his trademark dark glasses.

In his oath, he declared:

 “Me Félix-Antoine Tshilombo, elected President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, I solemnly swear to God and the nation: respect and protect the Constitution and laws of the Republic; territory; to safeguard national unity; to let myself be left to the general interest and respect for the rights of the human person; to devote all my strength to the promotion of the common good and peace; to loyally and faithfully serve those who are high office”.

Thousands of Tshisekedi supporters, many of them dressed in white, celebrated the historic event outside the Palace of the Nation, the seat of the presidency.

“We hope that this will be a real change, especially as he has taken power without bloodshed,” said Saddam Kongolo, a member of Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS)

After he has said: “I don’t feel well”, and sat down as family members came to his side, the state television interrupted its live broadcast.

Among the foreign nations, Only Uhuru Kenyatta attended the ceremony as president while   Tanzania and Burundi were represented by their vice presidents.  China, France, Japan and the United States sent their ambassadors.

This inauguration ceremony was initially scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 22nd and have been postponed to this Thursday but the government spokesman Lambert Mende did not give reasons for the delay.

 

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