Receive up-to-the-minute news updates on the hottest topics with NewsHub. Install now.

DRC opposition party rejects deal on unity candidate

12 November 2018 7:29 PM
74 0

Democratic Republic of Congo's main opposition party on Monday rejected a deal agreed by its leader just a day earlier to select a single opposition candidate for upcoming presidential elections.

After hundreds of activists protested, Jean-Marc Kabund, secretary general of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), announced "the grassroots want (party leader) Felix Tshisekedi to withdraw" from the deal, and set a 48-hour deadline for him to do so.

Seven opposition leaders, meeting in Geneva on Sunday, picked the little-known Martin Fayulu as their joint candidate for the December 23 ballot to succeed President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power for 18 years.

The choice of Fayulu, a 61-year-old former oil executive, was a surprise as Tshisekedi, who heads the UDPS - for years the country's main opposition party - had widely been seen as the front-runner.

Kabund said UDPS activists opposed the Geneva agreement as "they consider him (Tshisekedi) to be the candidate for the presidency."

Fayulu will run at the head of a new opposition coalition called "Lamuka" - which means "wake up" in both Lingala and Swahili.

He will stand against Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a hardliner and former interior minister backed by Kabila.

The vast, mineral-rich country has never experienced a peaceful transition of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Tshisekedi, who has a home in Belgium, has not yet returned to Kinshasa.


Share in social networks:

Comments - 0