President Tshisekedi obtains a new majority in the National Assembly



President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Félix Tshisekedi, during a press conference in Berlin, November 15, 2019.


© REUTERS – FABRIZIO BENSCH
President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Félix Tshisekedi, during a press conference in Berlin, November 15, 2019.

A new majority of 391 deputies out of 500 now supports the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Félix Tshisekedi, who since his election in January 2019 was to govern in a coalition with his predecessor Joseph Kabila, whose supporters were in the majority in Parliament.

The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, is set to become the only strongman at the head of the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, isolating his predecessor Joseph Kabila which loses the majority in the Assembly.

Proclaimed president in January 2019, but forced to share power with Joseph Kabila, whose supporters were in the majority in Parliament, President Tshisekedi can now count on the support of 391 out of 500 deputies in the Assembly.

These 391 deputies “will constitute the new majority of the Sacred Union of the Nation” wanted by President Tshisekedi to remove his predecessor Joseph Kabila, said Senator Modeste Bahati, who was appointed by the Head of State on the 1st. January to identify this majority. This “overwhelming majority” should allow the next pro-Tshisekedi government to be inaugurated in the National Assembly, he added.

Close to former President Kabila, the outgoing Prime Minister, Sylvestre Ilunga, at the same time suggested Thursday that his government would resign after being targeted by a motion of censure widely adopted in the National Assembly on Wednesday evening.

A recomposition of the balance of power at the top of the State

Modeste Bahati submitted his report to Félix Tshisekedi in the presence of the press. This very formal ceremony marks a crucial step in the reorganization of the balance of power at the top of the state initiated by President Tshisekedi on December 6.

That day, the head of state had recorded the failure and the end of his coalition with his predecessor Joseph Kabila, who claimed a majority of more than 300 deputies out of 500.

On January 1, Félix Tshisekedi had appointed a sort of official (an “informant”) who had a renewable month to identify a new majority in the Assembly, according to the terms of the Constitution. In the meantime, the Assembly had already given pledges of a majority reversal in favor of President Tshisekedi, by voting from December 10 for the dismissal of its pro-Kabila president Jeanine Mabunda.

A strong man from the DR Congo for 18 years (January 2001-January 2019), Joseph Kabila has still not spoken since December 6. He left Kinshasa for his stronghold of Lubumbashi, the capital of Katanga, since mid-December.

The Tshisekedi-Kabila coalition allowed the transfer of power between the two men on January 24, 2019, the first bloodless transition in the history of the Congo since the independence of June 30, 1960.

Félix Tshisekedi was proclaimed the winner of the December 30, 2018 elections, which allowed Joseph Kabila to keep control of Parliament. The official results had been widely contested by part of the opposition.

With AFP

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