Details

In Congo, Will President’s Chosen Successor Have Real Power?

The crowd roared as the wife of Congo’s departing president pressed her palm to the forehead of the anointed successor and appeared to pray.

A benediction for the man whom President Joseph Kabila has positioned to take over is likely not needed. As this huge Central African nation swings toward a Dec. 30 election that could be its first peaceful, democratic transfer of power, a vocal opposition fears that the long-delayed vote will be rigged in favor of Kabila’s ruling party.

Kabila’s chosen candidate, Emanuel Ramazani Shadary, has not made waves in Congolese politics. That’s the point, critics say. They believe Shadary will just keep the presidential seat warm until 2023, when Kabila can return to office.

DR Congo Polls Postponed One Week to December 30

Kabila supported those suspicions this month when his camp summoned foreign correspondents to the capital, Kinshasa, for rare interviews in which he cheerfully hinted he would be back in five years’ time. The constitution merely blocks three consecutive mandates, he said. “You should never rule out anything.”

And with that, critics warn that Shadary will play Medvedev to Kabila’s Putin, president in name only while Kabila holds power behind the scenes in a country with mineral resources worth trillions of dollars and yet one of the least developed in the world. Russian President Vladimir Putin avoided term limits in 2008 by putting forward an ally, Dmitry Medvedev, as president until he could return four years later.

Kabila in his interview with The Associated Press only mentioned Shadary if asked about him.

When Kabila announced months ago that he would step aside and named his preferred candidate, Shadary offered thanks to “almighty God for the grace he has shown us.” When Kabila’s wife blessed him in front of a campaign crowd earlier this month, he replied, “Amen.”

The 58-year-old Shadary has been described as a loyalist, not only to Kabila but to his father, former President Laurent Kabila. Shadary on Twitter in recent months has posted as much about Joseph Kabila, “an exceptional man in Africa and around the world,” as about himself.

“More soldier than general,” is how the International Crisis Group has described Shadary, pointing out that he does not have an independent power base.

Clashes Erupt in Congo After Vote Campaigning Halted in Kinshasa

Months before he was announced in August as Kabila’s chosen successor, Shadary told Radio France International he was not a presidential candidate and in fact was going to run for re-election as a national deputy from Maniema province in the east.

Shadary, the father of eight children and a Catholic, is a native of Kabambare in Maniema. He studied political science and rose through the ranks of Kabila’s People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy.

He is a former interior minister, a role in which he directed the government’s response to months of deadly protests across the country over the delayed election, originally due in late 2016. In some of protesters’ most vivid confrontations with security forces, diplomats and others gathered at Kinshasa’s Catholic cathedral were tear-gassed, and altar boys were arrested. Pope Francis appealed for peace.

For his “success in the political crisis,” his ruling party bio says, Shadary was named party secretary-general by Kabila early this year. He also gained the nickname “the man of difficult situations.”

The European Union, however, sanctioned Shadary along with more than a dozen other Congolese officials, accusing him of obstructing Congo’s electoral process and directing the crackdown on protesters.

As the election approached, Congo’s foreign minister this month asked the EU’s foreign policy chief to lift the “illegal” sanctions or at least suspend them for a “probationary period” as a compromise.

But days later, the EU prolonged the sanctions on Shadary and others, saying travel bans and asset freezes would be renewed for a year. Annoyed, Kabila’s special adviser Kikaya Bin Karubi accused the EU of interfering in the election.

Shadary faces the Dec. 30 vote as candidate for the recently formed Common Front for Congo coalition. Kabila is considered its moral authority.

UN Urges Sides to Reject Violence Ahead of DRC Vote

Shadary has two main challengers after opposition parties briefly managed to rally behind a single candidate and then broke apart. Martin Fayulu leads the remainder of that coalition. Felix Tshisekedi, head of Congo’s most prominent opposition party, joined forces with Vital Kamerhe, who finished third in the 2011 election and agreed to throw his party’s support behind him.

Two other opposition candidates with strong followings, Jean-Pierre Bemba and Moise Katumbi, were blocked by Congolese authorities from running.

Whoever receives the most votes wins, even without an absolute majority.

Shadary has vowed to be an effective leader who will act against corruption in a country notorious for it.

But his campaign is not convincing, said Al Kitenge, a Congolese economic analyst. “Shadary’s governance program … is not very ambitious, nor geared toward addressing the challenges of our country.”~ VOA

0

Related Article

Posted on: Friday, March 22, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - News Desk

Trump’s Numerous Declarations of Victory Over IS

late 2018, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw almost all of its troops from Syria, saying the Islamic State terror group had been defeated and there was no longer a reason to deploy U.S. forces in the war-torn nation

Posted on: Monday, March 18, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - News Desk

New Zealand PM Says Cabinet Has Agreed to Gun Law Reform

Authorities have accused a 28-year-old Australian, Brenton Harris Tarrant, of carrying out the horrific attack. He is the only person in custody linked to the killings and has been charged with murder

Posted on: Thursday, March 14, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - News Desk

Half-baked efforts for peace in Afghanistan

These are some of the policy changes that are being taken forward under the Trump regime so as to suit the new war games around the world. And, definitely, new plans are afoot to look beyond traditional battlegrounds like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Posted on: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - News Desk

No IS Kids Left Behind: Tajikistan To Repatriate Dozens Of Islamic State Children From Iraq

Returning children are expected to undergo medical check-ups and receive any necessary medical treatments and vaccinations soon after their arrival

Posted on: Monday, March 11, 2019 | By: crimeandmoreworld - Copy Editing Desk

Restive Algeria Awaits Decisive Move From Returned President

The protests have surprised Algeria’s opaque leadership and freed up Algerians, long fearful of the watchful security apparatus, to openly criticize the president. Algerians are also letting out pent-up anger at corruption that has left the country’s oil and gas riches in the hands of a few while millions of young people struggle to find jobs

Top

Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy more information

Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Cookie Policy

Close