DR Congo`s Tshisekedi takes `presidential oath`
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Last Updated: Saturday, December 24, 2011, 13:41
Kinshasa: Democratic Republic of Congo opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi, who rejects Joseph Kabila's re-election as president, had himself "sworn in" at his home as police clashed with his supporters.

Tshisekedi, 79, who came second in the November 28 poll, defied a police ban on his "inauguration" yesterday, which had been planned for a football stadium in the capital where police fired teargas to prevent the planned ceremony.

With armoured vehicles of the Republican Guard and large forces of police mobilised at the stadium, the event was moved to Tshisekedi's Kinshasa home, where police also used tear gas on supporters and officials of his Union for Democracy and Social Progress gathered outside.

"It's banned. There is already an elected president who has been sworn in. We cannot have another swearing-in. It's an act of subversion," a source close to the head of the country's police said.

"Such a rally would be destabilising for the regime in place," the source added of the event planned for Martyr's Stadium.

Tshisekedi took the oath on a Bible after his chief of staff Albert Moleka read a statement claiming that "today puts an indelible mark on the history of our country which has passed from dictatorship via the oligarchy of Kabila and his followers to real democracy."

Government spokesman Lambert Mende promptly dismissed the ceremony as a farce and a non-event, as well as "an insult to oath taking."

"The head of state only takes the oath before a supreme court," he said. "Did you see a supreme court judge?"


First Published: Saturday, December 24, 2011, 13:41

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