DR Congo’s Kabila backs ex-interior minister for presidential candidate

Kinshasa, Wednesday

DR Congo President Joseph Kabila, ending months of speculation, has chosen former interior minister Emmanuel Shadary (pictured) to be his successor in upcoming elections, the government said on Wednesday.

The announcement came just hours before the deadline for lodging applications for the December 23 election — a vote that analysts say is crucial for the country’s future.

Shadary is permanent secretary of Kabila’s party, the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD).

He “will represent our political family in the presidential election,” spokesman Lambert Mende told a press conference. “We will all rally behind him.”

A country of some 80 million people, the DRC has never known a peaceful government transition since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

Kabila, 47, has been in power for 17 years, taking over from his father, Laurent-Desire Kabila, who was killed by a bodyguard. He has been accused by critics of corruption, incompetence and rights abuses.                                                 — AFP

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