DR Congo opposition name presidency pick

Mr Fayulu (centre) is better known as an entrepreneur than as an opposition leader

Mr Fayulu (centre) is better known as an entrepreneur than as an opposition leader

Opposition leaders in the DR Congo have chosen the businessman Martin Fayulu as their candidate in December’s much-postponed presidential election.

He will be up against the governing coalition’s pick, former Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

The outgoing president, Joseph Kabila, is not seeking re-election.

He refused to leave office after his term ended in 2016 and officials said at the time it was too dangerous to call an election.

Opposition groups, however, saw it as a ploy by Mr Kabila to extend his time in office.

The selection of 61-year-old Martin Fayulu came after days of talks between seven opposition leaders in the Swiss city of Geneva.

Voters go the polls in DR Congo on December 23.

Mr Fayulu is a surprising choice: while he is a member of parliament, he is widely seen as an investor and businessman rather than as an opposition leader.

The two other contenders for the position, Felix Tshisekedi and Vital Kamerhe, will now rally behind Mr Fayulu.

The opposition’s decision to unite is crucial because in a single-round election multiple candidates would fracture the vote.

Meeting as seven for the first time, they also agreed on a joint programme and team.

The campaign is scheduled to start later this month. -BBC

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