When the whole world focused on the Presidential vote, it seems the real price was the Parliamentary vote. The hope for change in the DRC has been dashed as Kabila's party finds it's way back into government.
They have said that they share a "common will to govern together as part of a coalition government."
The President-elect of the Democratic Republic of Congo Felix Tshisekedi is officially going into a coalition government with the former President Joseph Kabila after he failed to garner enough support in Parliament to unilaterally form a government.
After wavering almost two years to actually have the elections which were held in December 2018, the DRC found itself facing an unexpected new reality, it was hope for change, yet questionable change. Felix Tshisekedi was announced as the winner, an opposition candidate winning elections is quite an uncommon sight in Africa.
However, analysts and citizens alike were not quick top celebrate. In the words of one analyst of African politics, it seemed "the first election rigged by the government in favour of an opposition candidate."
Last week, the two leaders’ parties announced plans to form a coalition government. Tshisekedi’s party was arm twisted into the agreement as the Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition took 342 of the 485 available parliament seats in the December election. This represents 70% of the parliamentary vote which would make legislative support difficult for Tshisekedi.
Julian Lubunga, a Kabila advisor was quoted by Reuters stating that the FCC would certainly have the pick of the Prime Minister due to the parliamentary majority they enjoy. The central African nation’s constitution states that the Prime Minister comes from the majority in Parliament although the President will have the final say over the pick.
What remains conspicuous is the involvement of Kabila in the ongoing discussions despite not being on the ballot of the last election. The two leaders have already met a number of times in the last few weeks, interchanging between Kabila’s farm and Tshisekedi’s temporary residence in Kinshasa.
The issue of contention remains on who gains control of key ministries. Tshisekedi’s party is said to be willing to give up the position of Prime Minister to retain control of defense, foreign affairs and the finance ministries.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Dennis Mukwege has warned the President to avoid betraying the people when he rules with Kabila. The Kabila government has been accused of living large whilst almost 80 million of the people of a mineral resource rich country live on less than a dollar a day.
Joseph Kabila ruled the DRC for 18 years following the assassination of his father in 2001. The former President delayed the elections for two years under the excuse that the country was not ready for the current election. When the elections were eventually held, the Catholic Church which had over 40,000 observers qualified the elections as a sham.
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