Tshisekedi, Étienne

Tshisekedi, Étienne (Étienne Tshisekedi wa Lumumba), 1932–2017, opposition leader in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He entered government service in the 1960s and helped draft the Congolese constitution (1967) that turned the country into a one-party state. By 1982, however, he had become an opposition activist and formed the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party (UDPS), the first organized opposition to President Mobutu Sese Seko. Although Tshisekedi later became prime minister (1991, 1992–93, 1997), he openly and frequently clashed with Mobutu and his terms in office lasted only a few days to a few months. A runner-up to President Joseph Kabila in the 2011 presidential election, he claimed fraud and proclaimed himself president. Opposed to extending Kabila's term in 2016, he agreed to serve under Kabila as interim prime minister in advance of elections later in 2017 but died before taking office.

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