Congo’s presidential candidates kick off campaigning a month earlier than election

KINSHASA, Congo — Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi and a politician hoping to unseat him subsequent month launched their campaigns Sunday because the incumbent chief faces ongoing violence in japanese Congo and a divided discipline of opposition candidates.

Opposition celebration representatives who met in South Africa in current days didn’t unite behind a single challenger to Tshisekedi for the nation’s Dec. 20 presidential election. The candidates represented on the talks included Martin Fayulu, a former oil government who misplaced to Thisekedi 5 years in the past; businessman Moise Katumbi; Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege; former Prime Minister Matata Ponyo; and Kassai legislator Delly Sesanga.

In a speech to supporters at Martyrs’ Stadium in Kinshasa on Sunday, the incumbent president accused Rwanda’s chief, President Paul Kageme, of destabilizing Congo. Congo has alleged that Rwandan forces are backing M23 rebels within the nation’s east, a declare Rwanda denies.

“I have broken with Paul Kagame because he took advantage of my good faith to destabilize North Kivu,” Tshisekedi declared, referring to a province in japanese Congo.

He additionally accused different candidates of supporting Rwanda, although he didn’t identify any of them. His concentrate on the rebels and the combating within the east underscored the function it’s prone to play in campaigning and the election.

Tshisekedi was declared winner of Congo‘s 2018 election after President Joseph Kabila relinquished energy underneath worldwide strain after 18 years. Fayulu, who additionally ran within the election, maintained that he had received and challenged the outcome however misplaced.

PHOTOS: Congo’s presidential candidates kick off campaigning a month earlier than election

On Sunday, Fayulu launched one other bid for the presidency within the city of Bandundu in southwestern Congo.

“It’s time to build a great Congo, a strong Congo, a prosperous Congo,” he declared. “It’s time to unite the north, south, east, west and center of the country. Now is the time to restore (Congo) to its rightful place in Africa and the world.”

Legislative candidates within the risky east started placing up posters and pictures beginning at midnight. The combating between the army and the M23 rebels is approaching the town of Goma, giving native voters different issues to fret about apart from the overall election.

“We’re worried because the M23 war is on Goma’s doorstep, and what’s more, this campaign isn’t like the one in previous years,” resident Kasereka Amani mentioned. “People are afraid. They think that the enemy may take advantage of this campaign to attack the town.”

Tshisekedi raised the potential for excluding the rebel-controlled territories of Masisi and Rutshuru from taking part within the elections for safety causes.

Bertrand Bisimwa, the insurgent group’s president, mentioned Saturday that “the areas conquered by the M23 in eastern Congo will be led by men chosen by the M23.”


Kabumba reported from Goma, Congo.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.