DR Congo announces new coalition government

The power-sharing agreement will see 23 members of the executive drawn from Tshisekedi’s Direction For Change
DR Congo announces new government
DRCongo President Felix Tshisekedi looks on during the opening of the African Union summit at the Palais des Congres in Niamey, on July 7, 2019. – African leaders met on July 7 in Niger for the African Union (AU) summit, to sign a landmark free trade agreement, and to discuss looming security and migration crises on the continent. (Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP)

The Democratic Republic of Congo announced a coalition government Monday, seven months after the inauguration of new President Felix Tshisekedi.

“The government is finally here. The president has signed the decree and we will begin work soon,” Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga told reporters before the members of the new government were announced by the president’s spokesman.

The power-sharing agreement will see 23 members of the executive drawn from Tshisekedi’s Direction For Change, and the remaining 42 from former president Joseph Kabila’s Common Front for Congo.

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Kabila presided over sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country for nearly two decades and still commands widespread support. Forming the coalition had taken time as both sides had to “remove everything that could be an obstacle to the functioning of the government”, said Ilunga.

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The executive will have a female vice prime minister, minister for foreign affairs and minister for planning, Ilunga said. Around three-quarters of members were serving in government for the first time, he added, hailing this as an “important innovation”.

Tshisekedi emerged victorious in elections that marked the Democratic Republic of Congo’s first peaceful transition of power since the mineral-rich nation gained independence from Belgium in 1960. The country’s politics remain overshadowed by Kabila, who amassed extensive clout after 18 years in power.

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