The inauguration of President Félix Tshisekedi’s new parliamentary majority, known as the Holy Union, on April 26th marks the end of a long period in which the President remained under the strong influence of his predecessor Joseph Kabila.
Prime Minister Sama Lukonde presented his new team on April 12th and Parliament approved it almost unanimously (410 of the 412 MPs present voted in favor), despite tensions over the division of ministerial posts. The new government gives Tshisekedi the freedom to pursue his reforms.
Control of the various forces within his new coalition is Tshisekedi’s immediate challenge. The delicate negotiations to form the government of the Holy Union show the insecurity of a majority that has gathered to oust Kabila but has no common political agenda.
Fissures in the coalition appeared almost soon when the government was proclaimed in April 12. Almost 200 of the MPs who left Kabila’s FCC formed a “coalition of revolutionary MPs” to protest the imbalance in the new government. Some provinces had multiple ministries; others had none.
They accused Lukonde of failing to reward their “postponement of allegiance” with a government position.
Another weakness of this team is the abundance of decision-making bodies that tend to do so Cause deadlocks within the coalition government. The appointment of powerful opposition members to deputy prime ministers, notably Eve Bazaiba, general secretary of Jean-Pierre Bemba’s Mouvement pour la libération du Congo, and Christophe Lutundula, a high-ranking official in Moïse Katumbi’s Ensemble pour la République, will limit Tshisekedi’s maneuver he will not be the only captain aboard the ship.
The other leaders of the political parties in the Holy Union will also use their positions to ensure that their interests are taken into account and to make plans to develop a The only one that cannot be hindered -partisan government.
The general elections in December 2023, in which the big names in the government of Lukonde are likely to stand as candidates, could soon lead to tensions and rivalries.
The “top priority” is to put an end to violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Given the poor results of its military campaigns, the government should accelerate the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration program to reintegrate former combatants.
Onesphore Sematumba is an ICG analyst for DR Congo and Burundi