When will the first government of Felix Tshisekedi?
At the end of tough negotiations between Joseph Kabila and Felix Tshisekedi, a power-sharing agreement was concluded at the end of July on the composition of the government. But eight months after the presidential election, appointments may still be delayed.
Congo, eight months after the last presidential election, still has no government. Felix Tshisekedi, whose election in December 2018 marked the first democratic alternation in the history of this Central African country, has appointed only his Prime Minister, Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba. At the presidency, his cabinet, composed of a hundred people, manages the current affairs.
However, on July 29, the Common Front for the Congo (FCC) led by Joseph Kabila, the former president, and Felix Tshisekedi's Alliance for Change (Cach) announced a power-sharing agreement. distribution of ministerial posts, concluded three days earlier. After several months of procrastination and bitter negotiations, the two political forces laid down on paper the modalities of distribution of the different strategic positions of the future government on which Felix Tshisekedi wanted to have a "right of inspection".
According to this agreement, the first government of Felix Tshisekedi should include 65 ministerial posts. With a majority in parliament and the Senate, the FCC would take control of 42 ministries versus 23 for the training of the president. "It's a coalition agreement between forces that are not completely confident. It was rather complicated to make this distribution especially for the regal ministries. This was one of the issues that caused the most problems during all negotiations, "said Sonia Rolley, DR Congo specialist for RFI, on Tuesday.
Kabila clan hegemony
If this distribution respects the balance of power in Parliament, dominated by Kabila camp with 350 deputies out of 485, this power sharing sounds like "a betrayal for the Congolese people," says Jean-Claude Félix-Tchicaya, researcher for the Institute forward and security in Europe (Ipse), contacted by France 24. "For eight months, there has been a class struggle. The former political class is struggling to stay in power at the expense of issues affecting the population, security or health issues such as the fight against the Ebola epidemic, "he laments. "The FCC is a very heterogeneous coalition with a lot of parties. And to maintain this coalition, everyone must have a job. This is the reason for the size of this government, "says Sonia Rolley.
Weakened, Felix Tshisekedi consoles however with the strategic ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Economy and Budget. Mines, Defense, Justice and Finance come back to the FCC from the former head of state whose political influence is still real. "With these ministries, Felix Tshisekedi is doing very well. He tries to save his honor and the career of his father Étienne Tshisekedi. But obviously, it is surrounded by the hegemony of the Kabila clan, "says Jean-Claude Felix-Tchicaya.
The stage of sharing power, the eyes are now turned to the list of personalities that will end the different portfolios. "This list is eagerly awaited by Congolese citizens but also by the international community," explains the researcher. But according to Sonia Rolley, "this may take time. Because on the side of the Cach alliance, we would like there to be new faces in this government. "
In March, two months after the inauguration of the leader of the UDPS, the Catholic Church had invited him to break radically with "anti-values" of the old regime. On Monday, August 5, several civil society organizations, including the Public Expenditure Observatory (Odep) and Collectif 24, again called on Felix Tshisekedi to dismiss "anyone named in various reports for corruption and human rights violations. Man and people subject to international sanctions ". "The demand of civil society is completely legitimate. And it is imperative that this demand be heard by the new leaders. Otherwise, we can not speak of renewal, of new circumstances. The Congolese people wants to enter a new political era, "said Jean-Claude Félix-Tchicaya.
Under pressure, the head of state tries to get rid of the unflattering image of "puppet" that is attached to him. In an exclusive interview granted at the end of June to France 24 and RFI, the Congolese president denied being "a puppet of Joseph Kabila" and reaffirmed his desire for change and his wish to put an end to "bad habits such as corruption, such that impunity. "
But at the end of July, during a meeting that brought together hundreds of members of his cabinet, the Congolese president had to slap his fist on the table to reaffirm his authority, reports Jeune Afrique. A reframing of employees who make decisions without referring to the hierarchical authority. After Joseph Kabila's seventeen years of power, "the presidential staff is not yet used to having directives from Felix Tshisekedi. There is a certain brake on the decisions made by the president. One wonders if it is necessary to execute its requests ", explains Jean-Claude Félix-Tchicaya.
>> See also: Felix Tshisekedi: "I'm not a puppet"
Evidence of internal struggle within the FCC, divisions begin to appear. On July 27, during the vote for the presidency of the Senate, also controlled by the FCC, Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, former minister of Joseph Kabila, defied the authority of the former head of state by facing Alexis Thambwe, the candidate chosen by the latter. During consultations with the Prime Minister, Modeste Bahati Lukwebo claimed four ministries on behalf of his political movement, the Alliance of Democratic Forces of Congo and Allies (AFDC-A). The first government of Felix Tshisekedi may leave traces.