DR Congo Nobel Prize Winner Denis Mukwege to run for Dec. presidential elections

DR Congo Nobel Prize Winner Denis Mukwege to run for Dec. presidential elections

2018 Nobel Prize Winner Denis Mukwege announced Monday plans to run for December presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in view of saving a country torn by insecurity.

“I agree to be your candidate for president of the Republic,” the surgical gynecologist, 69, told a packed auditorium in the central African nation’s capital, Kinshasa.

“We cannot wait to act, tomorrow is already too late,” he added.

The speech was broadcast live to two halls in Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, where his announcement drew rapturous applause, Sputnik reports.

This city is the home of Mukwege’s Panzi hospital, which has specialized in treating survivors of sexual violence since opening in 1999 amid the ravages of the Second Congo War.

In September, the Congolese hero reportedly declared that his supporters had donated the $100,000 deposit needed to launch a run for the presidency.

DRC, known as one of the richest countries in the world, has been ravaged by internal conflicts opposing the state armed forces and myriads of rebels fighting for the control of the country’s mineral resources.

One such militia, the M23, has captured swathes of territory since launching an offensive in late 2021.

The elections will be held in December and candidates have until October 8 to submit their bids. Mukwege will face off incumbent leader Felix Tshiseked who is seeking another term in office after ascending to power in 2018.

Other declared opposition candidates include Martin Fayulu, who ran unsuccessfully in 2018, and two ex-prime ministers of Tshisekedi’s predecessor Joseph Kabila, Augustin Matata as well as Adolphe Muzito. Business magnate Moise Katumbi is also expected to announce a bid.

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