Twenty-four hour before the end of the dateline for declaring presidential candidacy, President Joseph Kabila had a closed door meeting with members of his party in Kingakati.
According to the program announced on Monday, the meeting was to begin around 3pm local time on Tuesday and the press was invited. It was hoped that his successor would then be chosen from the party's top brass. But no sooner had the president arrived than orders were given to stop all communication. Even the public broadcaster RTNC was not allowed to air the deliberations.
Kabila gave a 40-minute speech but failed to disclose his political future. Everyone now expects the name of party leader and flag bearer in the December 23rd elections to be revealed today - in time for the presidential candidate list deadline at midnight on August 8.
Party insiders say it is normal to keep such announcements until the last minute as it will prevent competitors from challenging the candidacy.