DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Felix Tshisekedi has emerged from his father’s shadow to become Congo’s next president. For decades that post eluded his father, the venerated opposition politician Etienne, whose death in 2017 helped catapult his son to prominence.
The passage of power from father to son is a familiar story in Congo, where President Joseph Kabila took office at age 29 after the assassination of his father, Laurent, in 2001. He stayed on two years beyond his mandate amid delayed elections that finally took place on Dec. 30.
Now Tshisekedi, 55, is taking over after a disputed vote, with his inauguration on Thursday marking troubled Congo’s first democratic transfer of power since independence in 1960 from Belgium.
Many Congolese say his surprise victory is one the largely untested opposition leader did not earn.