Congo president ends coalition amid political deadlocks

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo’s president has announced an end to the coalition between his party and that of former president Joseph Kabila.

President Felix Tshisekedi said that he will build a new coalition that will have a majority of seats in the national assembly.

He announced the decision to scrap the alliance with Kabila’s party after months of political deadlocks. Kabila’s supporters make up a majority in Congo’s legislature, which Tshisekedi threatened to dissolve if the crisis persists.

“We must not allow the future of our nation to be held hostage to political and positioning quarrels,” he said.

In recent months there have been disputes on issues affecting Congo’s security, organization of elections, independence of the judiciary, and management of the sprawling country’s territory, said Tshisekedi.

Kabila, who had become president after his father died in 2001 and then was elected to two terms as president, did not run for a third successive term in the long-delayed December 2018 elections, as the constitution limits a president to two successive terms. Kabila stepped down from power after the candidate of his party lost the election to Tshisekedi. Kabila still holds considerable influence in Congo because his party retained a majority in the national assembly.

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This story has been corrected to show that former president Joseph Kabila did not run for reelection in the 2018 polls but voluntarily stepped down from office after serving two terms.

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