Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

Waiting for Democracy in Congo

Why Kabila's Retirement Announcement Offers Little Grounds for Optimism

On August 8, 2018, Lambert Mende, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s combative minister of communication and media, stepped up to the microphone at a press conference and made a remarkable announcement: that the country’s embattled president, Joseph Kabila, will not seek a third term. Kabila’s political coalition, Mende said, had chosen Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, the secretary-general of the president’s party, as its candidate for presidential elections scheduled for this December. Elections in Congo were supposed to have been held in 2016, according to the country’s constitution, and Kabila, having served two terms, would have been ineligible to run …

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