DR Congo: 24 aspirants apply to vie for presidency in the forthcoming polls

DR Congo: 24 aspirants apply to vie for presidency in the forthcoming polls

Republic of the Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi attends talks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Friday, May 26, 2023

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Thomas Peter/AP

Democratic Republic Of Congo

DR Congo’s electoral commission confirmed on Friday a provisional list of 24 candidates who have registered for the presidential elections on December 20.

The candidates still need to be approved by the Constitutional Court, with a final list due to be published on November 18.

President Felix Tshisekedi, who came to power in 2018, submitted his candidacy for a second five-year term in office in early October.

Given the fractured opposition, the 60-year-old is “in a good position,” said Congolese political scientist Christian Moleka.

“He’s the incumbent, he has the resources of the state, people still believe in him and he’s managed to build strategic alliances,” he added.

The divided political opposition would need to unite around a single candidate to stand a chance of beating Tshisekedi, according to Moleka.

Tshisekedi’s biggest opponents include Nobel laureate Dr Denis Mukwege, wealthy businessman and former governor of Katanga Moise Katumbi, and Martin Fayulu, an unsuccessful candidate in the 2018.

MP Delly Sesanga and former prime ministers Adolphe Muzito and Augustin Matata Ponyo are also in the race, the latter facing charges for embezzlement.

There is only one woman among the 24 candidates: Marie-Josee Ifoku Mputa, who also ran in the 2018 elections.

The political climate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been tense for months, with opposition parties claiming the elections will be rigged.

The presidential election will be coupled with legislative, provincial and communal elections, for which thousands of candidates have registered.

Additional sources • AFP

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