Presidential Supporters Join Majority in Congolese Legislature
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi’s parliamentary supporters formally joined the ranks of the majority in the National Assembly, solidifying a coalition with his predecessor to govern the world’s biggest cobalt producer.
Tshisekedi’s alliance members will now sit alongside lawmakers from former President Joseph Kabila’s Common Front for the Congo, giving them control of more than 380 of the chamber’s 500 seats, Paul Tshilumbu, a lawmaker from the president’s party, said Thursday in the capital, Kinshasa. Tshisekedi took office in January after disputed elections.
The two groups continue to negotiate over the choice of Congo’s next prime minister and cabinet and will present a joint ticket of a Kabila loyalist for the influential presidency and one of Tshisekedi’s backers for the first vice presidency of the National Assembly’s bureau, Tshilumbu said.
Yet tensions have emerged between the two political groups. Tshisekedi last month briefly suspended the installation of senators after Kabila’s party won the most seats amid widespread allegations of vote-buying.
Kabila’s alliance also criticized a speech Tshisekedi made in the U.S. this month in which he said he had inherited a dictatorial and corrupt system from his predecessor, who was in power for 18 years.
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