DR Congo: How will Kabila’s anointed scale Sunday Presidential election?
On Sunday, December 23rd 2018, Democratic Republic of Congo will go to the polls to elect successor of President Joseph Kabila.
Incumbent President Joseph Kabila is not qualified to run until perhaps in 2023 but Kabila has anointed Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, who is described as Kabila’s ‘hardliner’ to take over from him.
Elections were originally scheduled for 27 November 2016, but were delayed with a broken promise to hold them by the end of 2017. According to the constitution, the second and final term of President Kabila expired on 20 December 2016.
Will Shadary convert the Kabila window into a victory in Sunday’s presidential election?
Shadary was the deputy premier and interior minister has been a close political ally of Kabila and he is said by many to have earned the nickname “back-to-back” for his role in putting down a succession of opposition protests in 2017.
The crackdown, which turned deadly, led to him being sanctioned by the European Union.
The BBC recalls Shadary’s loyalty to the president has been rewarded with the specially created post of permanent secretary in DR Congo’s main political party.
Some analysts warn that, if elected, Mr Shadary may merely keep the presidential seat warm while Mr Kabila, expected to step down after 17 years, plots a comeback.
The president has not ruled out standing again in 2023, adding “there is still a long journey ahead” and he will remain in politics after the poll.