President Kabila Fulfils 15-Month-Old Promise

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The Democratic Republic of Congo now has a unity government drawn from the ruling party, the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) and three opposition parties, namely the Movement for the Liberation of Congo of Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Union of Forces for Change and the Union for Democracy and Social Progress.

This unity government is sequel to a promise President Joseph Kabila made in October 2013 following talks with the opposition and civil society.

The new team, to be headed by incumbent Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo with 47 other members, will still be dominated by the ruling party. The team includes three deputy prime ministers, two ministers of state, 32 ministers and 10 deputy ministers.

Leading the big guns from Kabila’s PPRD is Evariste Boshab, a former speaker of the national assembly and PPRD secretary-general. Boshab has been made minister of the interior and a deputy prime minister.

Former foreign minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba has been appointed justice minister, while Olivier Kamitatu retains the national planning portfolio.

Henri Yav Mulang, the deputy director of Kabila’s personal cabinet, has been placed in charge of the finance ministry.

A deputy prime minister from the opposition is the secretary-general of the MLC, Thomas Luhaka, who has been entrusted with the postal service, telecommunications and new information technology.

Kengo, an advocate of free-market economics who several times served as prime minister under Mobutu, obtained the key budget portfolio for Michel Bongongo of the opposition UFC.

The new government includes one job for a member of parliament from the UDPS, the foremost opposition party first created to contest Mobutu’s rule, but today destabilised with internal dissent.

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