President Kabila schedules talks with allies to pick successor


Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila scheduled talks on Tuesday with his allies, with the possibility of picking of a candidate for the December presidential election reported to be on the agenda.

Members of the pro-Kabila alliance known as the Common Front for Congo (FCC) “have been called to an important meeting this evening at Kingakati,” a minister said, referring to the presidential residence on the outskirts of Kinshasa.

Possible names expected to be considered include former prime minister Augustin Matata Ponyo, Kabila’s chief of staff Nehemie Mwilanya Wilondja and the president of the National Assembly Aubin Minaku.

Candidates have until 1530GMT on Wednesday to submit their bids for the December 23 election.

The DR Congo vote was scheduled for November 2016, but the electoral authority failed to conduct it, citing logistical challenges.

That failure to hold the election meant Kabila stayed on as president, a development that sparked protests across major cities in the country.

Opposition leaders accused Kabila of frustrating the electoral process in order to cling on to power, allegations he denies.

One such opposition leader, Moise Katumbi, has been denied re-entry into the country after a two-year stint in self-imposed exile.

Currently in neighbouring Zambia, he risks losing out on filing his candidature unless he is allowed into the country before Wednesday’s deadline.

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