Are fears that the country could face a new crisis real? Yes they are. The DRC has a long history of kicking the can down the road regarding most major political issues.
By Scott Morgan
There is a spectre haunting the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That spectre is the former President Joseph Kabila. Yes this is a modern day adaptation of the quote by Karl Marx however is it fits the bill in describing events in the country.
Recently elected President Felix Tshisekedi rejected the nominee for Prime Minister Albert Yuma Mulimbi who was the nominee from the FCC (Common Front for the Congo). The FCC is the coalition of parties that are allies to former President Kabila and have control over both Parliament and several State Governorships.
However the rejection of Mr Yuma appears to have triggered the FCC. The party fired off a letter to the President stating that He was the cause for the delays in having the constitutional of governance in place. Basically stating that since you don’t have our preferred candidate as Prime Minister in power the country is on the verge of having a constitutional crisis.
There are a couple of interesting twists to this: First since the FCC is an active part of negotiations to form a government their letter to the President smacks of partisan politics to ensure that even though Kabila is no longer President of the DRC he still has influence in events that occur nationwide.
The other issue is how independent can President Tshisekedi be? During his recent trip to the United States the President sent conflicting messages to both his hosts and to the citizens back home. His remarks to the US criticized the actions of his predecessor and he also vowed to dismantle the patronage system that allowed the excesses to permeate through all levels of DRC Government. He also asked for US aid to deal with the threats in the eastern part of the country as well.
However when he returned to Kinshasa there was an effort to clarify his statements. He stated that he was not specifically referring to one individual (assumed to be Kabila) and that he had no problems working with anyone to move the country forward. The question of just how independent the President is from Kabila is a fair one to be asked. Are fears that the country could face a new crisis real? Yes they are. The DRC has a long history of kicking the can down the road regarding most major political issues.
Case in point is how long did Kabila extend his term in office after the Constitutionally mandated deadline for elections? There are several bosses on the State level that could assert their influence and loyalty when it suits their needs. That is a problem that may surprise some when it appears.
The next crisis in the DRC will be an interesting situation to observe. It appears that there will be a domestic puppet master pulling the strings….What happens when their authority is challenged will trigger the crisis.