It’s back to old rivalry in DRC as Kabila-Tshisekedi coalition ends

Democratic Republic of Congo

Supporters of DRC President Felix Tshisekedi gather near the party head quarter in Kinshasa on December 6, 2020 to hear his speech as he announced the end of his coalition with Joseph Kabila.

Photo credit: Arsene Mpiana | AFP


Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Félix Tshisekedi has ended the coalition that has ruled the country for 16 months.

The coalition between the Front Commun pour le Congo (FCC) of former president Joseph Kabila and the Cape for Change will therefore be a thing of the past, the president having closed all possibility of negotiations.

The rival parties, which got together for a time, will now become adversaries again.

In a speech in French and in the four national languages of the country, PresidentTshisekedi, without expressly pronouncing the falling-out, said that according to the aspiration of “the great majority of Congolese” whom he consulted, the FCC-CACH coalition was singled out almost unanimously.

"I noted the need to end the CACH-FCC Coalition Agreement, seen as the main reason behind the current blockage," he said.

The head of state enumerated several other reforms to be carried out at the level of the economy, politics and security, the reform of the army and the electoral law.

For about thirty minutes, the fifth president of the DRC called on the people to make with him "a real democratic leap", which he wants "to carry everywhere on the Congolese territory, to destroy the designs of the cynics, to awaken the somnambulists, and to bar the passage of those who carry hatred and shame in our country ".

Determined to end pact

It was, therefore, Tshisekedi who showed himself determined to put an end to the FCC-CACH coalition.

The negotiations, the appeals of the African countries and presidents, and even of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have not made the son of Etienne Tshisekedi back down.

The Head of State said: "So to make the envisaged reforms effective and concrete, the current parliamentary majority having crumbled, a new majority is necessary. Consequently, I have decided to appoint an informant, in accordance with the provisions of Article 78, paragraph 2 of the Constitution. He will be responsible for identifying a new coalition bringing together the absolute majority of members in the National Assembly. It is with this new coalition that the government, which will be put in place as quickly as possible, will conduct its action during the remainder of the quinquennium, according to my vision, in order to meet the aspirations of the people."

Tshisekedi further threatened to dissolve the national assembly in case he does not get the majority he seeks.

The president, who cannot dismiss the country’s prime minister, according to the Congolese constitution, will now seek to obtain his resignation.

However, it is not certain if Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga, a member of the FCC, will easily give up.

Parliamentary majority

The struggle to shift the parliamentary majority in the national assembly from Kabila’s camp to that of Tshisekedi risks plunging the country into chaos.

Even before the informant is appointed and even before he begins his work, Tshisekedi’s supporters say that their camp "has already obtained the parliamentary majority".

In the FCC camp, the executives threaten to initiate legal proceedings against the "corrupt and corrupters" —parliamentarians.

At the same time, the FCC says it keeps "its parliamentary majority".

The national assembly, whose president, Jeanine Mabunda is a fervent member of Kabila's party, will be a battleground.

This has already been the case for a little over a month with legal proceedings and petitions from deputies being initiated to remove Mabunda from the post of president of this chamber of parliament.

The Tshisekedi camp has designated Jeanine Mabunda as "the enemy number one" who must be "made to pay for her arrogance".