Denis Mukwege submits candidature for DRC electionsTue, 03 Oct 2023 14:00:48 GMT

Denis Mukwege, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, officially submitted on Tuesday his candidature for the Democratic Republic of Congo’s December presidential election.Mukwege jointly won the Nobel Prize alongside Yazidi activist Nadia Murad for efforts to end sexual violence as a weapon of war, and has earned a reputation as a strident government critic in his native country. “The effect of submitting my candidature, to take that step to get out of my comfort zone, is already a victory for me,” the surgical gynaecologist said on the steps of the electoral commission in Kinshasa.”Our country is in a very bad way. The Congolese live in a form of slavery. Become outraged, resist, and if your vote is stolen, you have the right to a democratic revolution.”The official submission comes a day after Mukwege announced his candidature to thousands of supporters for the single-round elections that will take place on December 20.As well as opposition figures Martin Fayulu and Moise Katumbi, Mukwege will face outgoing president Felix Tshisekedi who has been in power for five years.Tshisekedi announced his plans to run for a second term back in 2020, and his electoral campaign has been active for months.DR Congo has a presidential term of five years, with a maximum of two terms.Mukwege founded the Panzi hospital and foundation in conflict-torn eastern DRC after witnessing the horrific injuries and diseases suffered by rape victims.Dozens of militias have ravaged eastern DRC for years, a legacy of regional wars that flared during the 1990s and 2000s.