DRC opposition party set to choose its champion

2018-03-31 13:16


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Democratic Republic of Congo's main opposition party met on Friday for a two-day congress to choose a new leader who is also likely to be its candidate in upcoming presidential elections.

Frontrunner among the four candidates vying for the leadership of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) is Felix Tshisekedi, the son of the party's founder, former premier Etienne Tshisekedi, who died in Brussels in February last year.

Elections for DRC's head of state are due to take place on December 23 after two postponements that have stoked fears the sprawling, volatile state could spiral into war.

President Joseph Kabila has been in power since 2001 and should have stepped down at the end of 2016 after he reached his two-term constitutional limit.

He is staying on under a constitutional clause that empowers the president to remain in office so long as his or her successor has not been elected.

Escalating tension over Kabila's future has fed protests that have met with a crackdown that has claimed dozens of lives.

According to an opinion poll released on Friday, 69% of the population do not trust the electoral commission to stage fair elections and 80% have a negative view of Kabila.

Sixty-six percent would vote for an opposition candidate, while Kabila would get only six percent if he sought to run again.

Among opposition candidates, the most popular was Moise Katumbi, a wealthy businessman and former governor of Katanga province, who was supported by 24% of those who gave an opinion.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

He was followed by Tshisekedi with 13%.

Katumbi, who lives in exile, formally launched his presidential campaign on March 12, unveiling a political party called Together for Change.

The survey, conducted by phone among a thousand people in 26 provinces, was organised by BERCI - the Bureau d'Etudes, de Recherches et de Consulting International - and the Congo Research Group (CRG) at New York University.

The UDPS was set up in 1982 at the height of the dictatorship of former president Joseph-Desire Mobutu. It has been in opposition ever since, and experienced numerous internal divisions.

Read more on:    drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.