Emmanuel Shadary named presidential candidate of DR Congo’s ruling coalition

Joseph Kabila

Joseph Kabila

Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila addresses a news conference at the State House in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo January 26, 2018.

The official announcement was scheduled for early yesterday morning, according to government spokesman Lambert Mende.

Late Tuesday, Kabila held talks with his political allies, who are joined in an electoral platform called the Common Front for Congo (FCC), on picking a candidate who would succeed him.

Worldwide pressure had been growing on Kabila and his government over the election delay since late 2016, with the United States in June taking the unusual step of announcing visa bans on several Congolese senior officials but not naming names.

Congo's constitution prevents Kabila, elected in 2006 and 2011, from seeking a third term, but the president's continuing refusal to rule himself out is fuelling opposition suspicions that he plans to change or reinterpret the rules.

Bemba recently returned to the country after being convicted, and then acquitted on appeal, of war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.

Minaku has been tipped as one of the candidates to emerge as Kabila's chosen successor, as has former prime minister Augustin Matata Ponyo.

The fate of opposition leader Moise Katumbi who was barred from entering the country last week to lodge his candidacy has caused political friction ahead of the registration deadline.

KINSHASA, Congo - Congo's president is not running again in December's long-delayed elections, easing concerns by the opposition and global community that he would try to stay in office and positioning one of Africa's most turbulent nations for what could be its first peaceful, democratic transfer of power.

Kamerhe is the second opposition heavyweight to file his bid to replace President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since 2001.

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His tenure over the vast mineral-rich country has been marked by a reputation for corruption, inequality and unrest. The watchdog Transparency International ranked it 156 out of 176 countries in its 2016 corruption index.

Many provinces are in the grip of armed conflict and millions have had to flee their homes, many flocking to Uganda, Tanzania, Angola and Zambia.

"The US is trying to convince Kabila to go between now and August 8", an unnamed source told the newspaper.

Another candidate, who also declared his hand on Tuesday, is Tryphon Kin-Kiey Mulumba - once a spokesman to former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and twice a minister under Kabila.

"(Kabila) said there would be no problem.

He told AFP he was running "in the name of my party", called the Action Party.

Katumbi has been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since May 2016 after falling out with Kabila.

Ramazani, a former governor of the eastern province of Maniema, served as interior minister from late 2016 until this February, when he was named permanent secretary of the PPRD.

Candidates have until Wednesday afternoon to register with the national electoral commission.

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