Hundreds of people thronged the airport in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) capital, Kinshasa, to welcome home veteran opposition leader, Etiennes Tshisekedi. The 83-year old left the country to seek medical treatment in Belgium two years ago.
Tshisekedi is widely expected to lead the opposition charge to force incumbent president Joseph Kabila out of power when his second term expires later this year. To start with, he will join an opposition demonstration scheduled for the weekend.
“His arrival is the solution to all the problems.Tshisekedi rejects Mr. Edem Kodjo, and this is not the end of the process of democratization and when he comes he will look forward to have the dialogue impartially,” a political youth leader in the country said.
His arrival is the solution to all the problems.Tshisekedi rejects Mr. Edem Kodjo, and this is not the end of the process of democratization and when he comes he will look forward to have the dialogue impartially.
He placed second in the 2011 presidential election against Joseph Kabila. He however insisted that he was the rightful winner of that poll which gave Kabila his second term as president.
Opponents suspect Kabila will attempt to breach the constitution and try to extend his rule. A top court in the country has ruled that the president could stay in power if elections slated for later this year fails to hold.
His presence at the planned rally will attract thousands and increase pressure on Kabila to hold elections this year.
He is a towering figure in DRC’s post-colonial political narrative reputed to have stood up against former ruler President Mobutu Sese Seko at a time when opposition parties were banned.
Tshisekedi has emerged as Kabila’s main opponent following a meeting of Congolese opposition parties in the Belgian capital Brussels earlier in June.