Congo's President, Predecessor Agree to Coalition Government

(Bloomberg) -- The Democratic Republic of Congo’s new president and his predecessor agreed to a coalition government, following disputed elections in December.

The deal paves the way for President Felix Tshisekedi to appoint a new prime minister and cabinet, six weeks after he was sworn in as leader of the world’s largest cobalt producer. He replaced Joseph Kabila, who ruled the central African nation for 18 years.

“The two platforms affirm their joint will to govern together in the framework of a governmental coalition,” Tshisekedi’s Towards Change bloc and Kabila’s alliance, the Common Front for Congo, or FCC, said in a joint statement.

Congo’s constitution obliges the president to select a prime minister from the ranks of the parliamentary majority. The FCC secured the most seats in the National Assembly, while Tshisekedi’s coalition, known as CACH, won only about 10 percent of the legislature’s 500 seats.

The FCC and CACH held discussions this week to “facilitate the quick establishment of a functioning government reflecting the will of the people,” the groups said in the statement.

Rival opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu, the runner-up behind Tshisekedi in the ballot, claims the presidential and parliamentary results were rigged. He’s accused Tshisekedi and Kabila of having done a backroom deal to deprive him of victory -- an allegation both men reject.

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