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Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:07 - Updated Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:06

Who is Felix Tshisekedi, DR Congo's new president?

The wildcard opposition candidate has prevailed in last month's chaotic election. The son of a political legend, the relatively inexperienced leader has much to prove.

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After weeks of uncertainity, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has been sworn in as president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

He was inaugurated at the Peoples' Palace, the seat of the national legislature in the capital, Kinshasa. Supporters who for decades backed the elder Tshisekedi's pursuit of power streamed into the venue with Congolese flags tucked into their hair or wearing leopard-print caps and cravats. 

At 55, Tshisekedi takes over from Joseph Kabila who is stepping aside after 18 years at the helm.

Few had predicted that Tshisekedi would emerge victorious from elections, which took place in December 2018 after being delayed several times.

Government-pick Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary represented continuity with the Kabila regime, while the other vocal opposition figure, Martin Fayulu, was chosen by by the major opposition candidates to run on a unity ticket. But after the Constitutional Court rejected a challenge of election fraud lodged by Fayulu, it is Tshisekedi who now leads sub-Saharan Africa's largest country. 

The head of one of the DRC's oldest opposition parties, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), brings with him promises of change and a deep family legacy.

Born into politics

Tshisekedi, nicknamed 'Fatshi', was born into a well-off family in Kinshasa in 1963. His father was the late Congolese opposition politician Etienne Tshisekedi, a popular figure who served as prime minister for three brief terms in the 1990s.DW

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