Congo ruling coalition wins legislative majority, constraining president-elect

Congo ruling coalition wins legislative majority, constraining president-elect

KINSHASA (Reuters) – Outgoing Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila’s ruling coalition received a majority in legislative elections, a coalition official stated on Saturday, regardless of opposition chief Felix Tshisekedi’s win within the presidential vote the identical day.

Congolese folks watch a tv display as they look forward to Congo’s Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee(CENI) press convention to announce the outcomes of the presidential election exterior a bar in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The consequence will undercut Tshisekedi’s capability to ship on marketing campaign guarantees to make a break with the 18-year Kabila period and gasoline suspicion that his victory, introduced on Thursday, got here via a backroom deal that can protect Kabila’s affect over essential ministries and the safety forces.

Kabila is because of step down within the coming days after 18 years in energy, in what was meant to be Congo’s first democratic switch of energy in 59 years of independence. However he has signalled he intends to stay concerned in politics and may run for president in 2023 when time period limits now not apply.

Attorneys for the runner-up within the presidential election, Martin Fayulu, have been on their method to Congo’s highest courtroom on Saturday to file a fraud criticism.

Fayulu says he received in a landslide with greater than 60 p.c of votes, and accuses Tshisekedi of placing a take care of Kabila to be declared the winner.

Late within the morning, about 50 Republican Guard troopers and cops surrounded his residence, sending dozens of his supporters, who had been chanting in opposition to Kabila and Tshisekedi, fleeing inside, a Reuters witness stated.

Tshisekedi’s camp denies that there was any take care of Kabila and says conferences it held with the president’s representatives after the election have been meant solely to make sure a peaceable switch of energy.


Both approach, the parliamentary majority retained by the handful of events in Kabila’s coalition will curtail Tshisekedi’s room for manoeuvre. Underneath the structure, the bulk enjoys important powers and the president should appoint his prime minister from its ranks.

The prime minister, in flip, should countersign presidential orders appointing or dismissing army chiefs, judges and heads of state-owned enterprises.

Adam Chalwe, a nationwide secretary for Kabila’s PPRD get together, the largest throughout the FCC coalition, informed Reuters that outcomes from the person races introduced by the electoral fee (CENI) early Saturday morning confirmed FCC candidates taking greater than 300 out of 500 seats within the Nationwide Meeting.

Reuters was not instantly in a position to verify that independently.

Events within the FCC coalition accounted for about 350 seats within the earlier legislature.

The coalition’s presidential candidate within the Dec. 30 election, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, completed a distant third with 24 p.c of the vote. Pre-election polling had proven the FCC lagging behind opposition events in legislative races.

In a tweet on Saturday, Fayulu wrote that CENI’s outcomes “have been invented out of entire fabric. I demand a hand recount of all votes for the three elections (presidential, nationwide legislative and provincial)”.

The disputed consequence threatens to reawaken violence within the enormous and tumultuous central African nation the place hundreds of thousands have died throughout civil wars for the reason that 1990s.

Safety forces killed dozens who protested at Kabila’s refusal to step down when his official mandate expired in 2016, and militia violence rose throughout the nation as armed teams moved to fill a perceived energy vacuum.

Extra reporting and writing by Aaron Ross, Enhancing by Ros Russell/Mark Heinrich

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