RDC: Kamerhe reprend la présidence de l’Assemblée nationale

DRC: Kamerhe takes over the presidency of the National Assembly

He returns to the perch 15 years after being forced to resign in 2009 for his criticism of the management of the conflict in the Great Lakes region.

Three days after his home was attacked in an alleged coup attempt, Vital Kamerhe, Minister of Economy in the outgoing government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was elected president of the National Assembly on Wednesday .

A selection process had made him the sole candidate and his election to the post, during a public session of the Assembly, was a formality. The only votes that escaped him were 36 invalid or blank ballots, out of a total of 407 voters.

Vital Kamerhe, 65, a figure in Congolese politics, returns to a position he held from 2006 to 2009, under the presidency of Joseph Kabila.

Then moving into opposition, he founded his party, the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC), before becoming an ally of Félix Tshisekedi, in power since January 2019 and largely re-elected on December 20.

In 2020, then chief of staff to the head of state, he was accused of embezzlement and sentenced to twenty years in prison. He will be released a year later and acquitted on appeal in 2022.

In March 2023, he returned to the forefront as Minister of the Economy, with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister.

Elected deputy of the majority in the December elections, he was chosen on April 23 as candidate of the “Sacred Union”, a pro-Tshisekedi political platform, for the presidency of the Assembly. But, due to a lack of initial consensus, this required a primary, which he won against two other contenders.

The composition of the rest of the “final office” of the Assembly was then also the subject of fierce discussions, postponing its election to Wednesday, although it had been scheduled for last Saturday.

Meanwhile, in Kinshasa there was what the army described as an “attempted coup d’état”.

In the early morning of May 19, armed men attacked the home of Vital Kamerhe, in the upscale Gombe district, before taking over the “Palace of the Nation” not far away, which houses the offices of Félix Tshisekedi.

Vital Kamerhe's supporters are convinced that it was an “assassination attempt” on their champion, who emerged unscathed from the attack, during which two police officers responsible for his protection were killed.

The election of the office of the Assembly should clear the way for the establishment of the government.

More than five months after the re-election of Félix Tshisekedi, the new team is slow to be put in place, while the east of the country is faced with a serious security crisis, the M23 rebellion which occupies large parts of the North province. Kivu.

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