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Tshisekedi's ruling coalition strengthened after election

Despite allegations of election fraud, the President's win is being recognised internationally

President Félix Tshisekedi looks set to have a stronger majority in parliament despite widespread opposition anger about the conduct of December's elections.

Provisional results from the legislative elections also held on 20-24 December, released by the Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI), put Tshisekedi's Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social (UDPS) party on 66 seats, making it the largest in the 500-seat chamber.

That would represent a 31-seat gain for the UDPS and has been matched by gains for several other parties in the President's Sacred Union coalition. The parties of Tshisekedi's allies including Senate President Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, Defence Minister Jean-Pierre Bemba and Economy Minister Vital Kamerhe won 35, 17, and 32 seats respectively. The coalition controlled over 390 seats in the outgoing legislature.

Within the 500-member house, 45 parties won one or more seats, according to CENI, but the boycott of the legislative polls by Martin Fayulu has depleted their numbers in parliament. Moïse Katumbi's Ensemble party meanwhile, is set to be the main opposition party with 22 seats. Katumbi's aides reported last week that the former Katanga governor had been placed under house arrest, although armed police were later ordered to leave his compound.

Although the general election was marred by allegations of fraud, logistical errors and disruption, the United States and other western governments have now joined their African counterparts in sending official congratulations to Tshisekedi after the Constitutional Court confirmed his victory (Dispatches 2/1/24, Tshisekedi set for second term despite protests against 'sham' elections).

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