International politics

DR Congo Presidency! 25 Candidates To Battle For The Highest Seat

25 candidates have emerged in the long awaited election of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Among the candidates who have registered to run for presidency includes a 92 year-old ally of an independence hero, three opposition heavyweights and the president’s chosen successor.

The three main opposition politicians to contest in the long awaited election are Felix Tshisekedi, Jean-Pierre Bemba and Vital Kamerhe. Tshisekedi, 55, is leader of Congo’s oldest opposition party UDPS and the son of longstanding opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi who died last year.

Bemba, also 55, is a former warlord and Kabila rival, who returned to Kinshasa this month after being acquitted of war crimes convictions by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Kamerhe, 59, is the leader of the opposition Union for the Congolese Nation, although he has previously served as parliamentary speaker and information minister.

The oldest candidate is Antoine Gizenga, 92, a former prime minister who was a brother-in-arms to national independence hero Patrice Lumumba and more recently a prime minister under Kabila after he first came to power in 2006.

Another candidate is Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister named by the government on Wednesday as the ruling coalition candidate, listed as an independent, according to a preliminary electoral commission list issued Friday.

Congo’s electoral body is expected to publish another provisional list of candidates on August 24 and a final list on September 19, which is three months ahead of the vote.

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