Opposition divided as two candidates vow to run in Congo election
November 24 2018 06:25 PM
Martin Fayulu (C) waves to supporters from a car
Democratic Republic of Congo joint opposition presidential candidate Martin Fayulu (C) waves to supporters from a car as he arrives in Kinshasa to launch his campaign on November 21, 2018. AFP


Congolese presidential hopeful Martin Fayulu says he is confident of winning elections in December despite news that another opposition leader, Felix Tshisekedi, is now running against him, ignoring an opposition pact to field a joint candidate.
"I'm the candidate who has a lot of support," Fayulu, who was little-known before being chosen earlier this month as the opposition candidate, told dpa. "The Tshisekedi camp does not scare me."
A now divided opposition will face off against the ruling party's choice, and likely winner, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary - a protege of current President Joseph Kabila.
After negotiations earlier this month, six top opposition figures chose Fayulu as their joint candidate. Just days later however, two opposition parties reneged, saying he would be unable to win.
Tshisekedi withdrew his support, while the Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) also demanded their leader, Vital Kamhere, withdraw from the agreement.
On Friday the two announced Tshisekedi would run and Kamhere would help him campaign, calling themselves "the camp of change" and vowing to "make a tidal wave in the elections."
However, it means the opposition vote could now be split.
Several opposition leaders have been barred from running, including former warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba and ex-Kabila ally Moise Katumbi.
The elections, scheduled for December 23, have been delayed for two years by Kabila and will be a test for the troubled country - which has never seen a peaceful transfer of power.
The government is battling numerous militant groups - many fighting over the country's rich mineral resources - and has also been trying to stem a deadly ebola outbreak in the East.

Last updated: November 24 2018 06:25 PM

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