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DRC presidential election: Matata Ponyo withdraws in favour of Moïse Katumbi

DRC presidential election: Matata Ponyo withdraws in favour of Moïse Katumbi
Augustin Matata Ponyo during an interview in Kinshasa on 13 April 2015.   -  
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Democratic Republic Of Congo

Former Prime Minister (2012-2016) of the Democratic Republic of Congo Augustin Matata Ponyo, one of the opposition candidates in the December 20 presidential election, announced Sunday evening his withdrawal in favour of Moïse Katumbi.

This announcement, in a recording posted on his Facebook account, follows discussions held from November 13 to 17 in South Africa between emissaries of five opposition candidates, including MM. Matata and Katumbi, former governor of the mining province of Katanga.

During the consultations, the delegates of four of them, according to the organizing NGOs, defined criteria for identifying the "ideal common candidate" , likely to give the opposition the best chance against the outgoing president, Félix Tshisekedi, in power since January 2019 and candidate for a second five-year term.

The other two candidates concerned are Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege and MP Delly Sesanga . The camp that did not adhere to this project is that of Martin Fayulu , unsuccessful candidate in the 2018 elections.

In total, 26 candidates were registered for the presidential election, a single-round election coupled with legislative, provincial and municipal elections.

"In order to maximize the votes and above all to thwart the maneuver of power" , which he accuses of preparing a "massive electoral fraud" , Mr. Matata believes in his message that "the urgency of a single candidacy of the opposition is essential .

“Thus, following the consultations held in Pretoria, Moïse Katumbi emerges as the candidate who can lead the opposition ticket represented by four major parties and groupings which took part in these meetings,” he continues .

“About this recommendation and in accordance with the decision of my party, I would like to announce my withdrawal from the presidential race of December 2023 in favor of Moïse Katumbi,” declares the former Prime Minister.

“The deep aspiration of the people must transcend our egos and our personal ambitions ,” he also said, inviting “the two other participants in the Pretoria work, as well as all the other candidates concerned about the future of the DRC and his people, to join Moïse Katumbi to ensure a certain victory in the elections of December 20.

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