Felix Tshisekedi was born in Kinshasa on June 13, 1963 to Marthe and Étienne Tshisekedi. When his father created the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) in the early 1980s, publicly opposing Mobutu, Félix was forced to accompany his dissident father into house arrest in his native village in central Kasaïa. This led to Felix ending his formal studies. In 1985, Mobutu authorized Felix, his mother and his brothers to leave Kasaïa. Mr. Tshisekedi went on to live in Brussels, Belgium, where he worked and became an active UDPS militant.
Late in 2008, Mr. Tshisekedi was named as the UDPS National Secretary for External Relations. In November 2011, he obtained a seat in the National Assembly, representing the city of Mbuji Mayi in Kasai-Oriental province. However, he did not take up his seat, claiming it was “out of the question to take office in institutions resulting from fraudulent elections.” His mandate was soon invalidated for “absenteeism.”
In May 2013, Felix refused a position of rapporteur at the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), saying, “I don’t intend to put my political career between brackets.” The CENI’s article 17 excludes membership for those who are members of a political formation.
In October 2016, Tshisekedi became vice secretary general of the UDPS, the oldest and largest opposition party in the DRC. On 31 March 2018, he was elected to lead the UDPS, after the death of his father (predecessor and founder of the party), on February 1st, 2017.
Félix Tshisekedi, along with coalition partner Vital Kamerhe of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) have been chosen by their respective parties as the presidential ticket candidates in the general election scheduled for December 23rd, 2018.
UDPS has been the standard bearer for reform in the DRC for over thirty-five years. Felix Tshisekedi is committed to carrying on the UDPS mission for uniting the Congolese people and leading the country forward.
As president of the UDPS, Felix Tshisekedi will work to implement the agenda that the party has developed over many years, to secure a better future for the DRC. He seeks to establish security for all Congolese and root out widespread corruption found in many of the county’s institutions.