Congo-Kinshasa: Pro-Kabila, Pro-Tshisekedi Camps in Pitched Battle at Parliament

President Felix Tshisekedi (file photo).
8 December 2020

Two days after Félix Tshisekedi's speech announcing the end of the coalition, the standoff continues in the National Assembly between, on the one hand, the office of the chamber of parliament and the deputies of Cape Town for change (CACH), and on the other hand, the supporters of President Felix Tshisekedi and those of former leader Joseph Kabila.

It all started on Monday, December 7 when pro-Tshisekedi parliamentarians ransacked the working room of the National Assembly to protest against the holding of the plenary by Jeanine Mabunda (a pro-Kabila) and all her staff. According to the CACH deputies, there was no question for Mabunda to lead the work of the plenary while the deputies initiated a petition aiming at its deadline.

Faced with this cacophony, the Speaker of the National Assembly suspended the work of her institution because of the disorders noted on Monday. But Mabunda changed her mind and called the deputies "for a communication".

It is then under high tension that the plenary was prepared. Within the very walls of the People's Palace, a battle pits Kabila's supporters against those of Tshisekedi.

The new Head of State, who announced the appointment of an informant to seek a new majority in his favour, met with Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga (pro-Kabila). Nothing filtered out from this meeting but some sources indicate that Mr Tshisekedi demanded the resignation of the premier.

Now, no one knows how Mr Ilunga will react. But already, Patrick Nkanga, one of the Prime Minister's advisors, stressed that "the resignation of the Prime Minister is not on the agenda".

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