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How the Political Opposition in DRC is making President Joseph Kabila a Dictator

Recently the Catholic bishops pulled out of the negotiations effectively throwing the process of implementation of the accord signed between the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the opposition parties into disarray! I think this has serious implications than what the opposition seems to see. President Kabila could actually soon start his terms as president afresh. Perhaps, the opposition is too stubborn to manage their ego and the situation can pretty easily work against them. We have not forgotten that sometimes in June, 2016 the court ruled that the current president can only hand over power to another elected president. It means Kabila whose term ended in December of the same year (2016) had his legitimacy in office guaranteed past that point since no elections have been held as yet. The negotiations begun between government and opposition and the agreement set in, as usual power sharing was in the works. The opposition was given the Prime Minister (PM) slot to have a unity government up until elections are held (hopefully after a year or so), but the opposition have insisted in presenting one name (they seem to be fixated on one individual) to the President to appoint as PM and the President (now an astute defender of the constitution) argues that is against the constitution for him to be given only one name for appointment because that would shift the center of appointing powers (which makes sense anyway), since he is the appointing authority. The President has demanded that the opposition present three names and for him to appoint one as PM. The opposition has refused. That is the point of contention that has caused the current stalemate. My thinking is that the opposition is preparing a good ground to make Kabila the dictator he has always wanted to be!

Some commentators have since argued that the problem in the country is the fact that the opposition leaders have never united and agreed on a common agenda due to selfish interests and President Kabila knows it. The act of the opposition has been viewed as an example of situations where “negotiators” have cultivated the art and science of not reaching a deal- but pretending to be negotiating.

Methinks the opposition negotiators may have failed to advise their “clients” that in negotiations you guard the essential/fundamental and be ready to cede some ground on the non-essential. The essential for them was to be part of the unity government and be part of the process that will prepare the country for an election. Now that they wanted ONLY one man (which is already bad enough), and now that the appointing authority is the President, and now that they only want one man to be appointed PM, they would perhaps explore the possibility of presenting “their man” plus two puppets of “their man” such that in the event that the President doesn’t appoint “their man,” his options are limited to appointing one of the puppets of “their man” whom they can micromanage to further their interests in the unity government.

Now the opposition are ‘tunnel-visioned’ the President has all the possibilities to place the opposition against the people, accuse them of propagating for violation of the constitution, single-handedly plan for elections and most likely a referendum to amend the constitution (in which he can easily insert clauses favorable to him including interference with term limits etc), use state machinery to push the constitutional amendments and entrench his rule. Since the opposition have technically ‘refused’ to be part of government, Kabila will declare them enemies of the state and will use state security agencies to crash them. Is that not how politics work in this part of the world? Who will be blamed in the final analysis? 
How the Political Opposition in DRC is making President Joseph Kabila a Dictator How the Political Opposition in DRC is making President Joseph Kabila a Dictator Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on April 05, 2017 Rating: 5

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