Thousands rally in DRC capital in opposition to electoral fee choose

Protesters in Kinshasa reject final month’s appointment of a brand new ballot physique head by President Felix Tshisekedi.

Thousands of individuals have taken to the streets of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to protest in opposition to President Felix Tshisekedi’s move to put in an in depth good friend to move the nation’s electoral fee.

Tshisekedi’s move final month got here regardless of the objection of the political opposition and the influential Catholic and Protestant spiritual leaders.

Critics say Denis Kadima, the brand new head of the CENI (National Independent Electoral Commission), is corrupt and too near the president.

“This is our country, and no one will stop us from claiming our rights,” one protester in Kinshasa informed Al Jazeera.

“We refuse a politicised electoral commission. We want things to change in this country,” he added.

Protesters additionally held up banners with slogans comparable to, “Enough is enough” and “No to a politicised CENI”. “We want teachers to be paid,” mentioned one other, after strikes within the training sector.

Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb, reporting from the protests, mentioned the demonstrators “are angry”.

“The appointment of the new electoral commissioner is seen by [protesters] to not be neutral … and biased in favour of President Felix Tshisekedi,” Webb mentioned.

“They said this is all part of a process by which Tshisekedi is taking control of all the key institutions ahead of elections,” he added.

The subsequent presidential election is ready for December 2023.

Tshisekedi was elected in much-delayed elections in December 2018, which have been peaceable however marred by accusations of fraud. He has mentioned he intends to run once more.

Some protesters known as for the return of former President Joseph Kabila, who dominated the DRC for 18 years earlier than Tshisekedi got here to energy in January 2019.

“We have to be clear if the president thinks that he will lead this country … to [a] fake electoral commission in 2023, then we will see what will happen. We don’t need him again, he has failed to lead,” a protester mentioned.

Former parliament Speaker Aubin Minaku, ex-Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala and former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary attended the demonstrations.