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DRC: Tshisekedi rounds up new allies for 2023 presidential polls

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Thursday, 1 October 2020 23:53

Felix Tshisekedi at a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)

Looking ahead to the 2023 presidential election and with the CACH coalition struggling to remake itself, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo is trying to expand his electoral base by adding new political allies.

On 20 September, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi agreed to meet with a delegation led by his high representative, Kitenge Yesu.

According to our sources, Yesu’s goal was to begin work to establish a large platform uniting new political allies around the Congolese president, with a view to the 2023 presidential election.

READ MORE DRC: ‘To survive, Tshisekedi is trying to outmanoeuvre, not confront the Kabilists’

Figures who took part in the discussion include Fiyou Ndondoboni, from the Orange party, and former presidential candidates Pierre Pay Pay (2006), Adam Bombole (2011), and Gabriel Mokia and Noël Tshiani (2018).

Also in attendance were Eugène Diomi Ndongala, member of the Christian Democracy party, Jean-Claude Muyambo, former president of the Lubumbashi Bar Association and member of Moïse Katumbi’s Ensemble pour le changement platform, and Jean-Bertrand Ewanga, former secretary-general of Vital Kamerhe’s Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) party.

New charter

As the group’s eldest member, Pay Pay assured Tshisekedi of their willingness to back him in his “anti-corruption fight”. A drafting committee has been tasked with drawing up a charter and bylaws for the expanded platform, and they are set to be submitted to the head of state in the coming days.

This meeting comes at a time when the Cap for Change (CACH) coalition is having trouble organising itself, in part due to the refusal of top-ranking officials from the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party to give up on Tshisekedi’s candidacy in 2023.

READ MORE DRC: Under pressure from the US, Tshisekedi reshuffles army

However, the Nairobi agreement signed by the latter and his ex-chief of staff, Kamerhe, who on 20 June was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of embezzlement of public funds, states that the UNC’s leader is to be the coalition’s candidate in the upcoming presidential election.