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DRC: Sacred Union members Tshisekedi, Bemba, Katumbi fail to reach an agreement

By Jeune Afrique
Posted on Friday, 15 January 2021 16:45

Moïse Katumbi, Félix Tshisekedi and Jean-Pierre Bemba. © AP / SIPA; Olivier Papegnies / Huma collective

Despite another meeting held on 13 January, Félix Tshisekedi and his two new allies still do not agree on the appointments of several heads of major institutions, following the end of the alliance between the head of state and Joseph Kabila.

Who will assume the position of Prime Minister and leadership of the National Assembly’s office? Tshisekedi and his new allies, opponents Moïse Katumbi (Ensemble pour la République) and Jean-Pierre Bemba (Movement for the Liberation of Congo), met on 13 January to try to negotiate a new agreement.

READ MORE DRC: Félix Tshisekedi terminates coalition with Joseph Kabila

However, by the end of the meeting – which took place at the African Union’s administrative base in Kinshasa in the presence of Jean Marc Kabund-a-Kabund, the interim president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) – the three men had still been unable to find common ground. According to our information, the head of state remained categorical.

FCC dissidents

Tshisekedi wants the next president of the National Assembly to come from the ranks of the Common Front for Congo (FCC), Kabila’s political platform. He wants this person to be elected sometime during the extraordinary session that opened on 5 January and is due to end on 3 February,

Among the names mentioned is that of Jean-Pierre Lihau, deputy of the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), Kabila’s party, but also that of Christophe Mboso, the current president of the bureau responsible for leading the lower house.

READ MORE DRC: Félix Tshisekedi gears up to take over African Union role

Tshisekedi insisted on appointing a prime minister alone. In Brazzaville, on 12 January, he had announced that he would not rule out appointing Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, to whom he has already assigned the position of informant in charge of identifying the new majority.

Katumbi and Bemba disagreed. During the interview, the two opponents explained that they wanted the position of prime minister, but also that of president of the National Assembly, to be theirs.

This is despite the fact that Katumbi does not wish to personally play a role as the head of these institutions. In fact, according to our information, he would like one of the posts to be filled by MP Christian Mwando Nsimba.

On 14 January Katumbi, the former governor of Katanga, brought together the MPs who are members of his platform Ensemble pour le changement (Together for Change) and tasked them with determining a political line.

This line would allow them to rule, along with other issues, on the motion of censure against Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, initiated by MP Chérubin Okende.

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