16 December 2016

Congo-Kinshasa: Five U.S. Lawmakers Ask Kabila to Leave Office On Dec. 19

Photo: Ph. John Bompengo
(file photo).

With just 3 days remaining in Joseph Kabila's legal term as the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, United States lawmakers are demanding that the Head of State surrenders power.

A group of five Members of Congress, led by Congresswoman Ann Wagner, have sent a letter to Pres. Kabila asking that he honor the country's constitution by stepping aside when his term expires on December 19 and allow for a caretaker government to be empowered until elections can be held in 2017.

Kabila has continued to close in ranks suppressing opposition, shutting down media outlets, and threatening political opponents an indication he is going nowhere.

The soon to be illegal Head of State and his associates are also claiming that popular opposition leader, former Governor Moise Katumbi, is a "fugitive".

Kabila is showing no signs, whatsoever, of obeying the DRC's Constitution and leaving his position, peacefully and honorably, next week; therefore becoming, himself, a lawbreaker.

Kabila and his associates know what the Constitution requires. They know that the Congolese people want change. And they know that Mr. Kabila is much less popular than other potential leaders.

Public opinion has tilted sharply against the current ruling coalition. Moise Katumbi, the affluent former governor of Katanga province who joined the opposition in 2015, had the greatest support (33%), followed by Etienne Tshisekedi (18%), President Joseph Kabila (7,8%), and Vital Kamerhe (7,5%).

Put together, a total of 17,5% said they would vote for an individual who is currently in the ruling coalition. This suggests that Kabila's support has suffered a collapse from the 48,9% he received in 2011--in some parts of the country the trend is even more dramatic, such as in his ethnic homeland of northern Katanga, where he obtained over 90% of the vote five years ago but would only get around 7% today.

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