Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi.
- A week-long meeting in Pretoria brought together five opposition DRC parties.
- Moïse Katumbi and Martin Fayulu are the frontrunners to lead the coalition.
- The eventual coalition candidate is expected to have an impeccable reputation.
Five opposition Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) political party leaders have to come up with a grand coalition leader ahead of the 20 December general elections.
The five – Martin Fayulu, Moïse Katumbi, Augustin Matata Ponyo, Denis Mukwege and Delly Sesanga – of the 22 rivals attempting to unseat President Felix Tshisekedi, met in Pretoria last week.
The criteria is that the common candidate should:
- Have experience managing state affairs and demonstrate competence through intellectual qualification;
- Demonstrate communication skills, must show leadership ability, and political vision for the country;
- Be a popular politician nationwide; and
- Should have a solid capacity to have an election campaign team.
The Pretoria meeting was facilitated by the In Transformation Initiative (ITI) and the Kofi Annan Foundation, “with a view to forming a coalition that will ensure the integrity of the electoral process and possibly bring a common candidate to the presidential election”, reads the communiqué issued after the meeting.
The communiqué stated that the leaders’ representatives had produced framework documents for the opposition coalition, highlighting convergences in terms of vision, values and programme. They reflected on the possible electoral scenarios and came up with appropriate strategies.
Katumbi, the former governor of Katanga province and the owner of TP Mazembe Football Club, has the backing of some of the five coalition partners.
In a statement issued on Monday, Ponyo said he was endorsing Katumbi to lead the coalition.
“With reference to the conclusions of the work in Pretoria, in which my party, the Leadership and Governance for Development, took part, I announce my support for Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, who will carry the opposition ticket in the presidential election,” he said.
Seth Kikuni, who was a presidential candidate in 2018 under his party known by its French name, Piste Pour l’Émergence, which means Tack for Emergence, has also endorsed Katumbi.
While Kikuni was not one of the political leaders in Pretoria, he said his support for Katumbi was because “only a united front can win this election”.
Franck Diongo Shamba, of the Lumumbiste Progressive Movement, also added his weight behind Katumbi.
But Katumbi could face resistance from another presidential hopeful, Fayulu, who came second to Tshisekedi in 2018.
Initially, in 2018, Fayulu was chosen by seven opposition leaders to be their presidential candidate.
However, a day later, now-incumbent Tshisekedi and another politician, Vital Kamerhe, broke away to form their own pact, which won the largely controversial polls.
Fayulu believes he is more popular than Katumbi, and he is upbeat that he can upstage Tshisekedi.
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Publish date : 2023-11-20 20:48:50