The Democratic Republic of the Congo must hold elections expected for several years but repeatedly postponed.
The country has never known a peaceful transfer of power, and this December 23 should not be all that different. The presidential election must appoint the successor of President Kabila, who remained in power for eighteen years and who could no longer constitutionally represent himself. In August, Kabila appointed his former Interior Minister Ramazani Shadary as the candidate for the FCC (Common Front for Congo), a coalition set up in June 2018. It is very likely that the outgoing President will make every possible effort for his successor to win an election under close scrutiny.
The Congolese electoral commission has already excluded at least one of the main opposition candidates from the electoral list (another, Moise Katumbi, has no right to enter the country).
The opposition will do its best to present a unified front against Kabila’s political machine.
Representatives of the seven main parties of the Congolese opposition signed a communiqué on October 25. After two days of discussions, they pledge to nominate a common candidate for the presidential election not later than November 15. They also announced that they will not boycott this election.
Comment : It is highly likely that the voting day, and then the announcement of the results, will give rise to many acts of violence across the country. Especially if opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba rebuilds his militia and mounted an armed resistance against Kabila.
Assessment: Given the history of tumultuous transitions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the unrest could continue until next year and beyond.