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1999 Democratic Republic of the Congo presidential election

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1999 DR Congo presidential election

2004 →
Turnout 89%

Nominee Joseph Linguma Louis Alphonse Sankuru
Party Independent Independent
Percentage 53% 47%

The 1999 presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was the first election for the country's head of state in more than forty years, after the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko that had lasted from 1965 to 1996 and the tumultuous years of the Congo War during the mid-1990s. Louis Alphonse Sankuru, who had led the transitional government after the Mobutu regime collapsed and the Rwandan Tutsi rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated, was the main contender along with one of Mobutu's former generals, Joseph Linguma. Sankuru was credited with reestablishing order and began the reconstruction process after the devastating war, but Linguma had been one of the most popular figures in the Mobutu administration, and was seen as being above tribal politics and presented himself as a strongman "law and order" candidate. The 1999 election was considered to be Congo's first major exercise in democracy in decades. Following the campaigning, in July 1999 Linguma was elected president with 53% of the vote.