Leading opposition politician in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Etienne Tshisekedi has sacked the secretary general of his party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS).
Bruno Mavungu was accused of being too close to the camp of incumbent president Joseph Kabila during Tshisekedi’s medical exile in Europe, Jeune Afrique news portal reported.
The man who was until then the number two of Tshisekedi, was widely criticized by party faithful for showing favor for political dialogue proposed by president Kabila, a dialogue Etienne Tshisekedi is fiercely opposed to, at least in its current form.
The dialogue is headed by former Togolese prime minister, Edem Kodjo, its work has been slowed by the failure to have opposition members on board.
Tshisekedi’s return and the opposition boost
The return of Tshisekedi to the DRC after two years in Belgium has revitalized the country’s opposition as they set out to oppose the continued stay of Kabila in power beyond his mandate which runs out in December 2016.
Political watchers in the country are projecting that the UDPS leader would most likely settle on Jean-Marc Kabunda, Federal President in the province of Lualaba, in the former Katanga province as a replacement for Mavungu.
Kabila’s tenure expires, would polls hold?
Kabila has been in power since 2001, and is constitutionally bound to step down after serving two terms (having won 2006 and 2011 elections). The country’s highest court ruled in May that Kabila could remain in power until the next election is held.
In March, the United Nations Security Council called on the country to organize elections this year, but the government says logistical and budgetary obstacles make it unrealistic. The election commission has said it needs more than a year to update the voters roll.
The government has however contracted Gemalto, a world leader in the area of digital security to help the electoral body with 22,000 mobile biometric voter enrollment kits.
The kits are to support over 18,000 enrollment centers to capture a detailed and updated national voter register through the acquisition of photographs, fingerprints and signatures of citizens as well as issue them personalized voter cards for the upcoming polls.