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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Congo’s presidential candidates kick off campaigning a month earlier than election

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KINSHASA, Congo — Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi and a politician hoping to unseat him subsequent month launched their campaigns Sunday because the incumbent chief faces ongoing violence in japanese Congo and a divided subject of opposition candidates.

Opposition occasion representatives who met in South Africa in latest days did not unite behind a single challenger to Tshisekedi for the nation’s Dec. 20 presidential election. The candidates represented on the talks included Martin Fayulu, a former oil govt who misplaced to Thisekedi 5 years in the past; businessman Moise Katumbi; Nobel Peace Prize winner Denis Mukwege; former Prime Minister Matata Ponyo; and Kassai legislator Delly Sesanga.

In a speech to supporters at Martyrs’ Stadium in Kinshasa on Sunday, the incumbent president accused Rwanda’s chief, President Paul Kageme, of destabilizing Congo. Congo has alleged that Rwandan forces are backing M23 rebels within the nation’s east, a declare Rwanda denies.

“I’ve damaged with Paul Kagame as a result of he took benefit of my good religion to destabilize North Kivu,” Tshisekedi declared, referring to a province in japanese Congo.

He additionally accused different candidates of supporting Rwanda, although he didn’t identify any of them. His concentrate on the rebels and the preventing within the east underscored the position it’s more likely to play in campaigning and the election.

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Tshisekedi was declared winner of Congo’s 2018 election after President Joseph Kabila relinquished energy beneath worldwide stress after 18 years. Fayulu, who additionally ran within the election, maintained that he had gained and challenged the consequence however misplaced.

On Sunday, Fayulu launched one other bid for the presidency within the city of Bandundu in southwestern Congo.

“It’s time to construct an amazing Congo, a powerful Congo, a affluent Congo,” he declared. “It’s time to unite the north, south, east, west and middle of the nation. Now’s the time to revive (Congo) to its rightful place in Africa and the world.”

Legislative candidates within the unstable east started placing up posters and images beginning at midnight. The preventing between the navy and the M23 rebels is approaching the town of Goma, giving native voters different issues to fret about moreover the overall election.

“We’re anxious as a result of the M23 struggle is on Goma’s doorstep, and what’s extra, this marketing campaign isn’t just like the one in earlier years,” resident Kasereka Amani mentioned. “Individuals are afraid. They suppose that the enemy could reap the benefits of this marketing campaign to assault the city.”

Tshisekedi raised the potential of excluding the rebel-controlled territories of Masisi and Rutshuru from taking part within the elections for safety causes.

Bertrand Bisimwa, the insurgent group’s president, mentioned Saturday that “the areas conquered by the M23 in japanese Congo will probably be led by males chosen by the M23.”


Kabumba reported from Goma, Congo.

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