The news doesn’t comes as much of a surprise to many in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the parties of newly elected President Felix Tshisekedi and former president Joseph Kabila – with his “senator for life” role and a loyalist majority in the National Assembly – have been working out the deal.
“The FCC and the CACH affirm their common will to govern together in the framework of a coalition government,” said the Kabila-backed Common Front for the Congo (FCC) coalition and Tshisekedi’s CAP for Change (CACH) in a joint statement on their intent to rule by coalition.
That’s likely to end the impasse over who Tshisekedi will name as prime minister, but not the deep divisions over the December 30 election results that many viewed as rigged precisely to ensure that Kabila would still maintain control over the nation.
That’s especially true for Martin Fayulu, the Engagement for Citizenship and Development (ECiDé) party candidate who believes – as did independent observers, journalists and pollsters – that he was the rightful winner.
“The DRC is ruled by a puppet,” said Fayulu earlier this week. “Kabila gave himself a false majority that unfairly allows him to continue pulling the strings,” said ECiDé on Wednesday.
The final results from CENI, the national electoral commission, gave Tshisekedi – the main Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) opposition party candidate – 38.6 percent of the vote. He was followed by Fayulu at 34.8 percent. Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, the FCC coalition candidate, came in third with 23.8 percent.
The election was postponed for two years after Kabila, who threw the country into violent chaos by refusing to step down after a constitutionally determined second term, continued to delay the vote. He finally agreed not to run again in August, but said in December that he has not ruled out a return to power
Image: Presidency DR Congo file