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  • Supporters of Congolese presidential candidate Martin Fayulu celebrate after the opposition coalition chose him to be the candidate in a December presidential election, in Kinshasa 12/11/2018 11:17.

    Supporters of Congolese presidential candidate Martin Fayulu celebrate after the opposition coalition chose him to be the candidate in a December presidential election, in Kinshasa 12/11/2018 11:17. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 November 2018

DRC opposition parties' pact collapses, clearing way for Kabila-backed candidate to win December's presidential elections.

Opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently agreed to put forth Martin Fayulu as the single candidate to run in the upcoming December 23rd election against Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary backed by historic president, Joseph Kabila, but their pact collapsed as differences have emerged.

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Martin Fayulu became the candidate for the opposition, including the two major parties the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP) and Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC),  but only lasted for 24hrs, which is how long it took to dismount the pact announced in Geneva.

"I have realized that the action we took in Geneva was not understood by the party base," announced Felix Tshisekedi, leader of the UDSP, the largest opposition party. "As a result I am removing my signature in the name of UDPS from this agreement we have signed in Geneva."

Tshisekedi’s supporters set tires on fire in the capital of Kinshasa after learning about the pact’s dissolution.

In July, polls favored opposition leaders by as much as 70%. Now, however, any real chance that this might be a contested election appears to be jeopardized by the collapse of the agreement. “Though government supporters have said ‘victory is certain,’ diplomats in Kinshasa said they believed there was still a possibility opposition parties may rally behind Tshisekedi or another candidate,” according to the Guardian.

On the other hand, Shadary is believed to garner his support entirely from Kabila. Other contenders such as Jean-Pierre Bemba have been ruled out on legal grounds from participating. For his part, Moïse Katumbi, a businessman and former governor of Katanga province is blocked from returning to the DRC from his exile in Europe.

While Kabila’s mandate expired in 2016, he has remained in office to oversee the electoral process’ organization.

Recently, the United Nation’s  spokesperson for the Secretary General , stated that since October, 347,000 people have forcefully returned to the DRC from Angola after being expelled by the government. Many of the Congolese living in Angola labored in the informal mining sector.  

The DRC is a country rich in resources such as oil, diamonds, and gold yet people live on less than US$1.90 a day, according to the World Bank The country has been under a heavy conflict between the military and militias for many years, causing massive numbers of displacements, indeed about 1.9 million were displaced only in 2017, according to Reliefweb.

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