DRC: Uncertainty Persists Over the Choice of Future President of the National Assembly

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Four months after the legislative elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the date for the election of members of the National Assembly bureau remains uncertain. No official explanation has been provided for this delay, but several sources indicate that managing ambitions within the majority coalition is at the heart of the issue.

One of the main points of contention has been the representation of the opposition in the Parliament’s bureau. This week, a compromise was reached, with the opposition being allocated only the position of deputy rapporteur. Other positions, including the highly coveted position of President of the Lower House, are subject to intense competition within the majority.

The UDPS, the ruling party, will not vie for the position of President of the National Assembly, which is promised to its allies. Although no one has officially announced their candidacy, three names are already circulating behind the scenes.

Among them, Vital Kamerhe, who previously served as President of the institution from 2006 to 2009 under Joseph Kabila, is well-versed in the workings of the Assembly. However, his potential return is viewed skeptically by some close to Félix Tshisekedi, given his proven presidential ambitions.

Modeste Bahati, 68, the current President of the Senate since March 2021, is also mentioned. His experience and potential candidacy for the presidency also worry some, fearing that he may use this position as a stepping stone for the next presidential election.

Christophe Mboso, who has been President of the National Assembly since December 2020, is also in the running. At the age of 81, he is perceived by some as a safe option for the UDPS, not being seen as a threat to the party’s future electoral ambitions.

According to several sources, Félix Tshisekedi – whose opinion is crucial – has not yet made a definitive decision for this strategic position, which will also take into account criteria such as regional representation within the bureau and other major institutions.

Soukaina Sghir

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