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Episode 1112

Marcel Lihau
Thu, 2020-May-21 01:55 UTC
Length - 2:58

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Thursday, 21 May 2020 is Marcel Lihau.

Marcel Antoine Lihau or Ebua Libana la Molengo Lihau (29 September 1931 – 9 April 1999) was a Congolese jurist, law professor and politician who served as the inaugural First President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Congo from 1968 until 1975 and was involved in the creation of two functional constitutions for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Lihau attended the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium with the help of sympathetic Jesuit educators, becoming one of the first Congolese to study law. While there he encouraged Congolese politicians to form an alliance that allowed them to secure the independence of the Congo from Belgium. He served briefly as a justice official and negotiator for the Congolese central government before being appointed to lead a commission to draft a permanent national constitution. He was made dean of law faculty at Lovanium University in 1963. The following year he helped deliver the Luluabourg Constitution to the Congolese, which was adopted by referendum. In 1965 Joseph-Desiré Mobutu seized total control of the country and directed Lihau to produce a new constitution. Three years later Lihau was appointed First President of the new Supreme Court of Justice of the Congo. He retained the position, advocating for judicial independence, until 1975 when he refused to force a harsh sentence upon student protesters. Lihau was summarily removed from his post by Mobutu and placed under house arrest. Becoming increasingly opposed to the government, he helped found the reform-oriented Union pour la Démocratie et le Progrès Social. Mobutu responded by suspending his rights and banishing him to a rural village.

His health in decline, Lihau sought refuge from political persecution in the United States in 1985, accepting a job as a professor of constitutional law at Harvard University. He continued to advocate for democracy in the Congo and returned to the country in 1990 to discuss political reform. He went back to the United States to seek medical treatment and died there in 1999.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:55 UTC on Thursday, 21 May 2020.

For the full current version of the article, see Marcel Lihau on Wikipedia.

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They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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