Will the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) hold elections in December 2023? If Félix Tshisekedi will be a candidate for his own succession, a postponement could be considered.
On December 20, the Congolese will vote for their president, but will also go to the polls for the legislative and provincial elections, which take place at the same time. Félix Tshisekedi, the outgoing president, should logically be a candidate for his own succession, since he has only served one term. But already, rumors about a postponement of the elections are running. "Fatshi", in 2018, had warned after a first postponement of the presidential election that he "will not accept another postponement, even by one day". Five years later, can he be the one who will cause a political crisis in the country?
Except that, this time, the power in place could well agree with the opposition. According to the latter, it seems difficult to organize impartial elections on time, and a postponement could help ease electoral tensions. For Martin Fayulu, real substantive work is needed before organizing the ballot. The elections will be transparent provided that all the camps "meet around a table to review the electoral law and re-examine the composition of the CENI (National Independent Electoral Commission, editor's note) and the Constitutional Court".
But for the Congolese presidency, the priority is security: the fighting between M23 rebels and the Congolese army have not stopped and prevent the Congolese power from concentrating on the electoral deadlines. An internal situation which has, de facto, caused a slight delay in the electoral process, particularly in terms of the financing of the latter and its organization. Enlistment operations, among other things, have taken a lot of delay. Unthinkable, for a large country like the DRC, therefore, to think of organizing general elections in just twelve months.
Which candidate for Kabila's party?
Still, in addition to the electoral calendar, several personalities are already on the starting blocks for possible elections. On the one hand, therefore, Felix Tshisekedi wants to re-enlist. After a year at the presidency of the African Union, the Congolese president cannot see himself leaving his post. But several corruption cases and trials of his relatives have somewhat tarnished his image.
Opponents obviously intend to step into the breach. Among them, Martin Fayulu, who believes he won the 2018 election and will be opposed to the one he accuses of having robbed him of victory. The other emblematic candidate is Moïse Katumbi. If the candidate of the Together for the Republic formation ultimately has little chance of breaking through his voice pool, Katumbi has announced that he would be a candidate. Others should follow, like Matata Ponyo Mapon or Adolphe Muzito.
But all eyes are now on another camp: that of Joseph Kabila. The end of the alliance between Tshisekedi and Kabila inevitably revived the ambitions of the former Congolese president. Rather silent at the moment, Kabila could be preparing his big comeback. But he cannot go there and will necessarily send a member of his party. Still, the latter has not yet convened its congress.