DR Congo opposition seeks sole candidate

Felix Tshisekedi

Felix Tshisekedi

Felix Tshisekedi, son of veteran Congolese opposition figure Etienne Tshisekedi, is one of four Democratic Republic Congo politicians seeking to become the presidential candidate of an alliance of seven main opposition parties.

He is to face President Joseph Kabila’s chosen successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, in elections scheduled for December 23.

With 21 candidates in a single-round election, alliances are key to get a majority of the 40 million expected votes.

Former vice-president and ex-warlord, Jean-Pierre Bemba, and former Katanga Governor, Moise Katumbi, who have both been barred from running, are part of the opposition pact.

Mr Tshisekedi told a joint opposition rally over the weekend that they will “sit down” this week to decide on “a common plan” and “common candidate.”

“If I’m the candidate, I will win,” Felix Tshisekedi told the BBC in an interview in the capital, Kinshasa:

He however added: But if I step away tomorrow in favour of another candidate, in favour of the common candidate, he will have as much chances as me of winning. I think the seven of us have enough support throughout the country to win a majority.”

“But if I step away tomorrow in favour of another candidate, in favour of the common candidate, he will have as much chances as me of winning. I think the seven of us have enough support throughout the country to win a majority.”

The opposition failed to unite against President Kabila in 2006 and 2011 elections and several opposition parties also have to deal with internal rivalries.

One point the seven opposition parties agree on unanimously is the condemnation of electronic voting machines that the electoral commission wants to use.

They, along with some international observers, worry the machines could be used to cheat, as Mr Tshisekedi said: We have until October 7 to make them change their minds. After that date, we’re going to have to very quickly get rid of the voting machine and print the ballots, but I think that we have time to make things right before December 23.”

“We have until 7 October to make them change their minds. After that date, we’re going to have to very quickly get rid of the voting machine and print the ballots, but I think that we have time to make things right before 23 December” -BBC

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