Congo-Kinshasa: Political Marriage of Convenience Bodes Ill for Prosperity in DRC

Guest of honour at an opening ceremony of the PanAfrican Parliament, Jeanine Mabunda Lioko, President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo, gave a keynote address on the African Union theme of 2019: “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa'’.

On Tuesday 30 June, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) celebrates the country's independence from Belgium in 1960. The DRC, which has changed its national flag three times since independence in search of a new start, remains a very unstable and poor country, despite its abundant mineral resources.

In 2020, the DRC's independence celebration will be the second since Felix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi ascended to the presidency. He is the fifth president in office since independence, and the son of the most celebrated opposition leader in the DRC, Etienne Tshisekedi. His father died a few months before the elections that brought Felix Tshisekedi to power, after 38 years of opposition politics.

President Felix Tshisekedi was elected in a controversial election, full of irregularities. He is accused of having entered a deal with the former president, Joseph Kabila Kabange.

Rumours are that, among the three leading contenders in those fiercely contested 2018 elections, Felix Tshisekedi came third. If this is true, it means that Tshisekedi owes his presidency to Joseph Kabila, and that Kabila (who controlled the National Independent Electoral Commission) elevated an opposition leader to power against the wishes of the Congolese people. Many people, including the influential Catholic Church,...

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