DRC Parliament backs Tshisekedi against predecessor Kabila

Although Tshisekedi won the presidency in December 2018 elections, he had been governing in coalition with Kabila's camp which held on to a parliamentary majority at the same time.

FILE: Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi. Picture: AFP

KINSHASA - Lawmakers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have backed President Felix Tshisekedi in the latest round of his power struggle with predecessor Joseph Kabila, sources told AFP Saturday.

Some 301 out of the 500 MPs signed a censure motion filed in parliament Friday against Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, a Kabila ally, multiple sources said.

Although Tshisekedi won the presidency in December 2018 elections, he had been governing in coalition with Kabila's camp which held on to a parliamentary majority at the same time.

But now a majority of parliament appears to have joined the president's "Holy Union of the Nation" declared last month.

The censure motion, seen by AFP, complains of "repeated failures... successive serious errors and incompetence" by the prime minister and his cabinet.

"The government's failure can be seen especially in the area of defence and security," it adds, referring to continuing violence in DRC's east.

As tensions with Kabila mounted, Tshisekedi suspended cabinet meetings in October, before announcing in early December that he would stop working with his predecessor's camp.

He appointed Senator Modeste Bahati on January 1 to corral a new majority in parliament's lower house.

"Every day, I'm comforted by the massive support from the political class for the Holy Union of the Nation," Tshisekedi told diplomats Friday, adding that the project aims "to continue the process of democratisation and development".

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