A landslide victory for President Félix Tshisekedi diminishes the risk of post-election instability
Commercial activity in Kinshasa will normalize in the coming months as election-related protests subside and President Félix Tshisekedi peacefully begins his second term. However, firms with presence in the war-ridden northeast will face severe disruption, as violence between the M23 rebels and the Congolese army intensifies. Nevertheless, multinationals should ensure that their local teams are well positioned to capture robust growth, especially in industries related to the mining sector, throughout 2024.
- Presidential elections took place on December 20, 2023, in Congo (DRC), with the incumbent president, Tshisekedi, announced as the provisional winner on December 31, 2023, with 73.47% of the vote.
- Attempts to challenge the result—including anti-government demonstrations, a call by opposition leaders to rerun the poll, and a legal challenge to the result—all failed, resulting in the constitutional court confirming Tshisekedi’s victory on January 9, 2024. Tshisekedi will be sworn into office on January 20, 2024, for his second five-year term in office.
- The elections occurred during heightened tensions between the Rwanda-backed M23 rebels and Congo (DRC). This was driven by strong anti-Rwandan rhetoric used in Tshisekedi’s presidential campaign and the seizing of Mweso, a town in the north of Congo (DRC), by the M23 rebels in late November.
Commercially disruptive protests may take place again in Kinshasa as the inauguration date approaches, but the frequency and intensity of such protests will eventually subside. Despite well-founded objections to the election process, Tshisekedi’s legitimacy has grown stronger relative to his rise to power in 2018 due to a better-than-anticipated result, a fragmented opposition, and the admission of the Congolese Catholic Church that one candidate garnered more than half of the votes. The main risk to the country’s stability stems from the ongoing conflict in the northeast between the Congolese army and M23 rebels. The possibility of this conflict escalating into a direct military confrontation between Rwanda and Congo (DRC) has increased following the withdrawal of international peacekeeping troops but remains low (15% likelihood); FrontierView’s base case assumes violence to remain contained in the northeast. Meanwhile, Tshisekedi’s re-election ensures policy continuity in 2024, with the mining sector driving growth of 6.3% YOY, and the Congolese franc likely averaging 2,450 per USD, which will slowly appreciate as election anxiety abates.
At FrontierView, our mission is to help our clients grow and win in their most important markets. We are excited to share that FiscalNote, a leading technology provider of global policy and market intelligence has acquired FrontierView. We will continue to cover issues and topics driving growth in your business, while fully leveraging FiscalNote’s portfolio within the global risk, ESG, and geopolitical advisory product suite.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter The Lens published by our Global Economics and Scenarios team which highlights high-impact developments and trends for business professionals. For full access to our offerings, start your free trial today and download our complimentary mobile app, available on iOS and Android.