The DRC: Strong Grip on Power, Weak Handle on Governance

Members Only Subscribe to read the full article
Already a member? Log In

Late on Sunday, Bruno Tshibala, the Deputy Secretary and spokesman of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)’s largest opposition party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), was arrested for his alleged role in violent anti-government protests that rocked the capital city of Kinshasa in mid-September. The protests, which began after the announcement that President Joseph Kabila would overstay his constitutionally mandated two terms, turned violent, with more than 50 killed, and underscore a long-time struggle for democracy in the DRC.

Joseph Kabila assumed the presidency in 2001 following the assassination of his father, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who orchestrated the coup of dictator Mobutu Seso Seko in 1997. In the DRC’s first election under a new constitution in 2006, Kabila won 58 percent of the vote amidst allegations of electoral fraud. After five years of consolidating power and rejiggering the country’s electoral process, a second election in 2011, in which Kabila once again emerged victorious, was even more suspect. According to Joseph Siegle, the Director of Research at the National Defense University’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Kabila’s efforts have been “a determined effort to control every step of the electoral process.” The recent announcement that the October elections will be delayed until 2018 is his most brazen step yet in his quest to remain in power beyond his constitutionally imposed term-limit that expires on December 19.

The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

Access all of The Cipher Brief‘s national security-focused expert insight by becoming a Cipher Brief Subscriber+Member.

Continue Reading

Get access to all our briefs

Sign up Today

Already a member? Log In

Categorized as:InternationalTagged with:

Related Articles