DRC’s Tshisekedi holds coalition talks with predecessor Kabila

Democratic Republic of the Congo's outgoing President Joseph Kabila (L) embraces newly inaugurated President Felix Tshisekedi on January 24, 2019 after he was officially handed over the instruments of power at the Presidency in Kinshasa. - Opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi was sworn in on January 24, 2019 as president of Democratic Republic of Congo, marking the country's first-ever peaceful handover of power after chaotic and bitterly-disputed elections. Tshisekedi took the oath of office before receiving the national flag and a copy of the constitution from outgoing president Joseph Kabila, stepping aside after 18 years at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA / AFP)

DR Congo’s recently elected president, Felix Tshisekedi, held talks on Sunday with his predecessor Joseph Kabila on forming a coalition government, a source in Kabila’s entourage told AFP.

The talks would open the way to naming a prime minister who would form a coalition government to run the country, a member of Kabila’s entourage, who asked not to be identified, said.

Kabila, although no longer president, is head of the majority group in the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The talks were confirmed by the Tshisekedi’s office, which said the two men met at the president’s residence and “even shared a meal in a family atmosphere”.

According to provisional results, Kabila’s supporters won 337 out of the parliament’s 485 seats in the December 30 election, which took place on the same day as the disputed presidential vote that brought Tshisekedi to power.

Tshisekedi‘s own Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) only garnered 32 seats in the incoming National Assembly.

The prime minister’s post, for the moment, remains vacant until the next government can be formed.

Tshisekedi’s election marked DR Congo’s first peaceful change of power since its independence from Belgium in 1960.

He took over from Kabila who had held the presidency for 18 years.

The talks on forming a coalition come after the runner-up in the presidential election last week proposed staging the poll again within six months.

In a letter to the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Martin Fayulu restated his allegation that the vote result had been rigged.


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