DR Congo: Does Kabila intend to stay in power?

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07/01/2017 by Douwe Blaauwe

The Democratic Republic of Congo was expected to welcome a new president last year, but with elections delayed, President Joseph Kabila remains in office past the two-term limit enshrined in the constitution.

Martin Fayulu, pictured with severe swelling, claims it was the result of having been shot by government forces [Photo credit: Martin Fayulu]
Kabila has promised that elections will be held by the end of this year. So, will the country finally be restored to full democratic rule, or could he attempt to remain in power?

For Martin Fayulu, an opposition politician who claims to have been shot in the head by government forces during a peaceful protest, Kabila is not willing to give up power.

“Kabila knew clearly that he has to go by the end of last year. But what he did? He tried to manoeuvre not to have elections,” says Fayulu, who hopes to replace Kabila. “I’m not sure that by the end of this year we’ll have that transparent and credible election.”

“If there is anything Kabila does not want to do, it is to stay in power for ever,” says Zihindula Mulegwa, a former spokesman for Kabila. “We are involved in voter registration right now and we expect to have elections at the end of this year.”

In this week’s Arena, former government spokesman Zihindula Mulegwa and opposition politician Martin Fayulu debate the future of democracy in DR Congo.

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