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DR Congo finally unveils new government

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Tshisekedi has taken seven months to forge a government – he is having to share power with a legislature dominated by supporters of his predecessor, Joseph Kabila

Nearly eight months after former opposition chief Felix Tshisekedi was elected president, the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday unveiled a coalition government dominated by supporters of his predecessor, Joseph Kabila.

“The government is finally here. The president has signed the decree and we will begin work soon,” Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga told reporters.

In gestation for seven months, the new government will see most of the 66 portfolios handed to Kabila’s Common Front for Congo (FCC), with Tshisekedi’s Direction For Change alliance accounting for most of the rest.

Tshisekedi, 56, has vowed to enact sweeping reform and root out corruption but has been hampered by the need to share power with the legislature, which is dominated by FCC MPs.

Forging the coalition government took time as both sides had to “remove everything that could be an obstacle to the functioning of the government,” Ilunga said.

The new team will get down to work as soon as its members are approved by the National Assembly, he added. The parliament has been convened in special session until September 7 to approve the government.

“I believe this has been worth waiting for,” Ilunga said.

“Here we have a government that manifests the vision of the head of state, in the direction of change. So change starts now. Let’s get to work!”

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