Main opposition parties in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, have chosen Martin Fayulu as their candidate for the long-delayed December 23 elections.
The agreement was reached after talks in Geneva under the auspices of the Kofi Annan Foundation. The new coalition is called Lamuka and had seven signatories.
Fayulu and four others are among the twenty-one passed to contest in the elections. The two others are banned former vice-president, Jean Pierre Bemba, and former governor of Katanga Province, Moise Katumbi.
The other members of the coalition are: Vital Kamerhe (UNC), Freddy Matungulu Mbuyamu (CONGO NAS BISO/SYENCO), Adolphe MUZITO (NOUVEL ELAN) and Felix Tshisekedi (UPDS).
“In order to bring this political struggle to a successful conclusion, the Lamuka coalition voted to select Mr. Martin Fayulu Madidi as the common candidate for the presidential election on 23 December 2018,” Freddy Matungulu, a coalition member told reporters after the declaration.
Fayulu, who turns 62 on 21 November, is the president of the opposition party Commitment for Citizenship and Development.
His appointment, greeted by applause and shouts of joy from some of the Congolese present. Others expressed surprised because Félix Tshisekedi, president of the historic opposition party (UDPS) seemed to be the likely candidate.
Fayulu becomes the main opposition candidate to face the ruling party’s candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister. He was picked in August after outgoing president Joseph Kabila confirmed that he was not going to seek a third term.