“The Constitutional Court will announce this postponement”

“The Constitutional Court will announce this postponement”

Two scenarios stand out for this twist which will make many unhappy.

Bob Kabamba is categorical. The vote in the Democratic Republic of Congo will not take place on December 20. ”President Tshisekedi and the president of the Ceni have continued to insist that the vote would take place at all costs on December 20. Difficult in this context to announce the opposite”explains the political scientist, who continues: “It is the Ceni which is master of the calendar but its president would be very happy if someone else could announce this postponement.

Two scenarios are on the table, they feature the Constitutional Court, mainly composed of people close to those in power. The president of this Court, Dieudonné Kamuleta Badibanga, whose name appeared in the case of the assassination of Chérubin Okende, should announce this week the postponement of the vote. “Either he is based on a request from the CENI, or, this is the path that seems most plausible to me, he announces this postponement on the basis of the complaint filed before the court by certain candidates like Martin Fayulu or Théodore Ngoy, to challenge the electoral process. This case is on the docket this week.”

Many observers emphasized when this request was filed that it was likely to endanger the vote..By responding favorably to this request, the court is playing into the hands of those in power who are exempt from this postponement and can attribute it to an action by the opposition. continues Bob Kabamba. We should therefore review the entire process.with a new electoral register, even a new Constitutional Court and a new president of the Ceni”, according to the political scientist.

A transition with whom?

If postponed, the question arises about the management of the transition which should lead to this new election. The mandate of President Félix Tshisekedi ends on January 24, 2024. According to the Constitution, in the event of incapacity, it is the President of the Senate who must manage this transition and prepare for the new elections. Some voices have already been heard suggesting that the current President of the Senate, Modeste Bahati, who is campaigning for Tshisekedi, would not be the man for the job. The name of Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege then comes up. “Impossible, slices Bob Kabamba. Mukwege is a presidential candidate, he cannot manage the transition.”

We remember that in 2016, Joseph Kabila obtained two years of additional power to finally organize the election in December 2018. “The situation is very different. Even though Kabila was not in the odor of sanctity, there was not a strong current of hostility to oppose him remaining in power for two more years. Here, with Tshisekedi, the opposition has already insisted that it would be without him. The debates promise to be heated but in the region, this path of a transition without Tshisekedi is starting to gain momentum. continues Bob Kabamba. From Uganda to Angola via Congo-Brazzaville, mismanagement of the electoral process and the consequences of a wave of discontent in the DRC are pushing officials to try to agree on a “least worst” scenario. The trail of Tshisekedi’s withdrawal seems to be gaining momentum in these capitals. “President Tshisekedi must not count on the support of border countries”explains a minister from a neighboring state who points out “the inability of this gentleman to bring peace to his country. Tshisekedi and his entourage are a major risk for the entire region”.

Political discontent

This postponement will arouse the anger of many candidates, whether for the presidential or legislative elections. Some sold their homes to pay for their election campaigns. They will not have the means to carry out a second one. There are tensions within the majority platform, where the money promised by the presidency to finance the campaigns never arrived. Even the bosses are very angry. If there is a postponement, you can bet that many candidates will join Katumbi”concludes Bob Kabamba.