Opposition party wins 16 of 22 governorships in DR Congo elections

A woman searches for her name at her polling location prior to casting her vote in the Kasanga-Ndindi neighborhood of Beni on March 31, 2019 during partial parliamentary elections held today in parts of the country that were unable to participate in December's vote due to security issues and an ongoing Ebola epidemic. (Photo by Luke DENNISON / AFP)

Supporters of former DR Congo leader Joseph Kabila have swept elections for governor across the troubled central African state, heaping extra pressure on new President Felix Tshisekedi.

Kabila’s Common Front for Congo (FCC) coalition already won comfortable majorities in both houses of parliament as well as provincial assemblies in December 30 polls.

Now FCC candidates have won 16 of 22 governorships, according to provisional results announced by the electoral commission on Wednesday.

Winning candidates include Kabila’s brother Zoe, who was elected governor of the southeastern province of Tanganyika.

The new governor of Kinshasa is also an FCC member, Gentiny Ngobila. 

He is the former governor of the southwestern province of Mai-Ndombe, where violence in December claimed at least 500 lives in the town of Yumbi, according to the United Nations.

Human Rights Minister Marie-Ange Mushobekwa said recently that Ngobila would face questioning over the bloodbath.

Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party and its allies won only one governorship, in his native province of Kasai-Oriental.

Tshisekedi was sworn in on January 24 after a bitterly disputed election mired by fraud allegations, replacing Kabila who yielded power after 18 turbulent years at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country.

The UDPS is working to put together a coalition government with Kabila’s.

The formation of the new government is being closely watched for signs that Kabila will continue to hold sway in the nation’s politics.


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