Fighting In DRC Parliament As Tshisekedi Moves To Remove Joseph Kabila Influence

By Agencies


Compiled By Markson Omagor



Fighting has broken out in parliament in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the second day running.


The police had to be called in to break up supporters of President Félix Tshisekedi and those backing the previous head of state, Joseph Kabila.

President Félix Tshisekedi on the left is wrestling power away from Joseph Kabila

Three people were hurt as the rival groups flung objects at each other, AFP news agency says.


Tear gas had to be used to disperse the crowds outside the building in the capital, Kinshasa.


The violence comes after Mr Tshisekedi set out his plan on Sunday to break months of political deadlock with supporters of Mr Kabila.


In what appears to be victory for Tshiekedi, Congo’s (DRC) parliament has voted to authorise a motion to remove the House speaker, a move that, if successful, would hand President Felix Tshisekedi a major victory in his power struggle with his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.


More than half of the body’s 500 representatives on Tuesday authorised a vote on the motion for Thursday, which would force out Jeannine Mabunda, an ally of Kabila, as speaker and pave the way for the formation of a pro-Tshisekedi majority.


That would mark a monumental shift in power towards Tshisekedi, who took office in January 2019 but has been handicapped by a coalition government with Kabila’s allies, who won parliamentary majorities in the same election.


By controlling a majority in Parliament, Tshisekedi would be able to nominate a cabinet of his choosing after two years in which Kabila’s allies have dominated the major ministries, frustrating the president’s ability to push through his agenda.


Following weeks of consultations with political leaders and others, Tshisekedi announced on Sunday he would try to form a new majority in parliament by winning over members of Kabila’s coalition and other, smaller parties.


In a televised address, he said he would appoint an official to build a new coalition majority in the national assembly, which is dominated by his predecessor’s followers.


He said he was prepared to dissolve the assembly altogether if necessary.

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