News 12 january — 18:13

Congo ruling coalition wins legislative majority, constraining president-elect

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Outgoing Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila's ruling coalition won a majority in legislative elections, a coalition official said on Saturday, despite opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi's win in the presidential vote the same day, Euronews reports.

The result will undercut Tshisekedi's ability to deliver on campaign promises to make a break with the Kabila era and fuel suspicions that his victory, announced on Thursday, came through a backroom deal that will preserve Kabila's influence over important ministries and the security forces.

Kabila is due to step down in the coming days after 18 years in power, marking Congo's first democratic transfer of power in 59 years of independence. But Kabila has signalled that he intends to remain involved in politics and might run for president in 2023 when term limits no longer apply.

Under the constitution, the parliamentary majority enjoys significant powers and the president must appoint his prime minister from its ranks.

The prime minister, in turn, must countersign presidential orders appointing or dismissing military chiefs, judges and heads of state-owned enterprises.

Adam Chalwe, a national secretary for Kabila's PPRD party, the biggest within the FCC coalition, told Reuters that results from the individual races announced by the electoral commission (CENI) early Saturday morning showed FCC candidates taking more than 300 out of 500 seats in the National Assembly.

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