DR Congo PM launches talks on forming government

Wednesday August 7 2019

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi (right)

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi (right) shakes hand with newly appointed prime minister Prof Sylvestre Ilunkamba Ilunga on May 20, 2019. The PM has launched talks on forming government. PHOTO | DRC PRESIDENCY 

AFP
By AFP
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DR Congo Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba on Wednesday began formal talks on forming a government, more than 11 weeks after his appointment, his office said.

The task of forming a cabinet in the vast country has been hampered by the outcome of a disputed vote on December 30.

The presidential elections were won by opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi—but he is having to share power with a legislature dominated by supporters of his predecessor, Joseph Kabila, who ruled for 18 years.

The prime minister's office said Ilunga had launched "formal consultations" with the pro-Tshisekedi coalition Course for Change, known by its French acronym as Cach, and Kabila's Common Front for Congo (FCC).

Ilunga gave delegates a document spelling out criteria for people who would be considered for ministerial jobs.

Individuals with "judicial convictions in the DRC or elsewhere" would be sidelined, and overall consideration will be given to a mix of "former and current (political) figures and those from the emerging generation".

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Qualities of "competence, integrity (and) the ability to work in a team" are also a priority, as is "the ability to work under the authority of the prime minister".

A total of 65 jobs have to be alloted. The two blocs have until August 10 to put forward candidates. The list will then be submitted to Tshisekedi for his decision.

Tshisekedi was elected on a platform to ease poverty and roll back corruption that flourished during Kabila's reign.

He appointed Ilunga on May 20, but efforts to form a government were stymied by haggling.

The breakthrough came on July 26, when the two blocs signed an agreement to attribute 42 ministerial positions to the FCC and 23 to Cach.

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