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Democratic Republic of Congo Announces Government 8 Months after Vote

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The Democratic Republic of Congo announces a coalition government, Aug. 26, 2019, eight months after President Felix Tshisekedi won a long-delayed presidential election.
By VOA News

The Democratic Republic of Congo has announced a coalition government.

The announcement comes eight months after President Felix Tshisekedi won a long-delayed presidential election.

“The government is finally here,” Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilukamba said Monday. “The president has signed the decree and we will begin work soon.”

Under the power-sharing deal, 23 posts are going to members of Tshisekedi’s Direction for Change, while the remaining 42 will be filled by members of former president Joseph Kabila’s Common Front for Congo.

The December vote was marred by disorganization at many polling stations, including missing voter rolls and malfunctioning electronic voting machines that pushed the vote well into nighttime hours, forcing election officials to conduct their activities by flashlight. A election observer mission set up by the Catholic Church said it had received at least 544 reports of malfunctioning voting machines.

Violence also overshadowed the vote, with four people killed in eastern South Kivu, including a police officer and an election official, over accusations of voter fraud.

The election to replace outgoing President Joseph Kabila was originally set to take place in 2016, but was called off when Kabila refused to step down after the end of his mandate. Kabila had ruled the DRC since his father’s assassination in 2001.

The election was initially scheduled for December 23, but was postponed by a week because of a warehouse fire in the capital Kinshasha earlier in the month that destroyed thousands of voting machines.

Election officials also decided to postpone the election in three cities until March. The eastern cities of Beni and Butembo were stricken with Ebola. The western city of Yumbi was experiencing ethnic violence. The move to delay the vote in the three locations affected more than one million voters.

—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: August 26, 2019 at 01:42PM

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