The Congolese Parliament has dissolved the government of Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba following a vote of no confidence against the Central Executive last Friday adopted by 301 members.
The DRC National Assembly voted this Wednesday, January 27, 2021 for the dissolution of the government led by Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba.
Out of 382 deputies who took part in the plenary, 377 voted for the motion. 367 deputies voted for, 7 against and 2 abstained and 1 elected member slipped a void ballot into the ballot box.
Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga wasn’t in parliament during the vote. Reports indicate he had travelled to Lubumbashi where he met the former president and leader of the Common Front for Congo (FCC) Joseph Kabila Kabange.
In correspondence forwarded to the lower house of parliament, Ilunga Ilunkamba said that “the notorious motion of censure is nothing but a political manoeuver without any factual basis and in defiance of the demands of the rule of law.”
Installed on September 6, 2019, the Ilunga Ilunkamba government will have served for nearly 16 months.
Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba was appointed on May 20, 2019 on a proposal from the FCC following the governance agreement concluded with Cap pour le Change (CACH).
Last December a political crisis in the perennially restive Democratic Republic of Congo deepened as lawmakers trashed Parliament after President Felix Tshisekedi moved to scrap the shaky ruling coalition.
Tshisekedi’s government has been in tatters, with members of Parliament loyal to his powerful predecessor Joseph Kabila, who command more than 300 seats in the 500-member Parliament, increasingly at odds with supporters of the president.
A parliament brawl broke out on December 7, 2020 with ministers overturning desks and throwing chairs after President Felix Tshisekedi moved to scrap the ruling coalition.
Tshisekedi had announced earlier that he planned to form a new coalition. He said he may have to dissolve parliament and hold a fresh elections if he could not form a new coalition.
On December 6, 2020 Tshisekedi delivered probably one of the most anticipated and courageous speeches of his term in office to date.
He exposed some of the main grievances raised during his consultations with political and social actors. He explained the ongoing political impasse and laid out options to clear the obstacles that have prevented him from delivering on his programme for the country.
In the address, Tshisekedi announced the end of the Front Commun Pour le Congo-Cap Pour le Changement (FCC-CACH) alliance, sealed during the controversial 2018 presidential elections. This came after more than two years of clashes that have prevented the government from reforming and improving governance and service delivery.
Both the FCC (the party of former president Joseph Kabila) and CACH (pro-Tshisekedi) have been embroiled in political scheming ahead of the 2023 elections. Reforms that are desperately needed for peace and stability in the DRC quickly became tools to shift the balance of power, to the detriment of running the country in the interests of its citizens.
In 2019 Tshisekedi took over from Joseph Kabila, who was in office for 18 years. But he needed to forge a coalition with the pro-Kabila FCC, which has prevented the much-needed reforms.
In October, Tshisekedi revealed there had been discord over major issues with the FCC-dominated government.
These included national security, the management of state assets, the independence of the judiciary and the organisation of elections.
The president laid down a two-pronged approach as a way to break the deadlock. He announced the appointment of an ‘informateur’, a sort of mediator, to come up with a new majority in Parliament. Tshisekedi, who has minority support in the National Assembly, was sure the move would reconfigure the political space to his advantage.
A procedure was initiated by Tshisekedi supporters in Parliament to remove the bureau of the National Assembly, particularly FCC president Jeanine Mabunda, who has been at loggerheads with Tshisekedi on several occasions. Two hundred and eighty one out of the 481 MPs voted in favour of moving Mabunda out.
Recent reshuffling of senior army officers and a ceremony held to renew army loyalty to state institutions also sent a clear message to Kabila and will test his hold over the security apparatus. Tshisekedi might also rely on new political allies such as Jean-Pierre Bemba and Moïse Katumbi, who were quick to praise the December 6th decision to end the ruling coalition.
The president also indicated the possibility of dissolving Parliament and calling for fresh elections should the move to gain a new pro-Tshisekedi majority fail.
UJA House, Bombo Rd,
Keti Falawo Zone, Kawempe Division
Kampala – Uganda