On Wednesday, July 25, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) opened the doors to those interested in the contesting in the December 23 presidential elections to submit their applications. The period closes on the 8th of August.
Several opponents have already indicated their willingness to run for the highest office in the country.
Kabila opponents in exile
One of them is Moïse Katumbi. The only problem is the wealthy businessman is currently in exile and faces several charges back home. But those around him have decided to ignore to the risks of his return to DR Congo. They have gone ahead to announce his imminent return to before the August 8 deadline. They have also warned the Kabila government against inflicting any harm on Katumbi.
If we want a new regime in this country, we have to go through one unit.
“It is not a regime of gentiles (Joseph Kabila’s regime in the DRC). We do not go there with naïvety, but we go there with confidence, because the law is on our side, because the population is on our side and everything that could happen to Moïse Katumbi would be Joseph Kabila’s personal responsibility,” asserted Olivier Kamitatu, cabinet director and spokesman for Moïse Katumbi.
The return of Jean-Pierre Bemba
The other prominent opposition candidate is Jean-Pierre Bemba who was recently acquitted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The president of the MLC has announced that he will return to his country on August 1 to officiate his intentions to run for president. But he is campaigning for a single opposition candidacy.
“If we want a new regime in this country, we have to go through one unit, one candidate at the opposition level, and I am advocating that there be only one candidate at the opposition level. (And) of course if it isn’t me, I would support the candidate who will be nominated by the opposition, that is clear,” former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba said as he addressed journalists.
Will the opposition go in different paths, will Kabila run for a third term? The suspense ends no later than August 8.