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DRC poll gets second coalition as Tshisekedi, Kamerhe 'unite'

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Two main aspirants in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s upcoming presidential elections have entered into an alliance, the second such coalition in under a month.

Vital Kamerhe and Felix Tshisekedi announced the coalition that will see Tshisekedi becomes the common candidate as Kamerhe withdraws his candidature. The two parties held announced the pre-election agreement at a news conference on Friday, November 23, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Tshisekedi, son of veteran opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi leads the main opposition Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party whiles Kamerhe, is leader of the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) party.

The two, were part of the Lamuka coalition that brought together seven aspirants in a deal reached in Geneva under the auspices of the Kofi Annan Foundation.

Barely twenty-four hours after signing the Lamuka deal that picked Martin Fayulu as common candidate, the two aspirants withdrew their involvement.

The Lamuka coalition involved two barred aspirants in the persons of Jean Pierre-Bemba – a former veep to Kabila, and Moise Katumbi – former governor of copper-rich Katanga province.

Fayulu returned to the country on Wednesday with the promise to do all it takes to wrestle power from the ruling coalition which has picked former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary as its candidate.

President Joseph Kabila who has overshot his constitutional mandate by two years agreed to step down in August this year. He stayed on after the 2016 expiration of his tenure because elections could not be held over the period.

The elections body, CENI, cited reasons such as the lack of a credible voters register and insecurity in parts of the country. Currently, there are pockets of insecurity and the outbreak of Ebola but all signs show that the December 23 polls will be held.

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