DRC President Agrees To Leave Office After 17 Years In Power

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Democracy is a concept that is still in its forming stages across the African continent. One of the biggest problems we have faced is the inability of candidates to accept results when they do not go their way. In Democratic Republic of Congo for instance, when in 2016, Joseph Kabila’s tenure was over, he refused to step down.

Joseph Kabila who came into power following his father, then President Lauren Kabila’s assassination in 2001 went on to win elections of his own in 2006 and then 2011. When in 2016 however, as a result of insecurity which prevented voter’s registration in the eastern Kasai region and led DRC’s electoral body to suggest it would be unable to hold elections until this year, Kabila saw it as an opportunity to hold on to the mantle of power.

He has however cleared suggestions that he will run again in the December 2018 elections and said through his spokesperson that he will not be contesting for the position of President.

With Kabila out of the way, a new President looks to be on the horizon. The governing coalition has nominated former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary to be its candidate and another eight candidates will contest for the position. Former Vice-President Jean Pierre Bemba, who returned to DR Congo last week after being acquitted of war crimes at the International Criminal Court is a featured name on the list of presidential hopefuls.

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