Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Opposition Party Ousts Leader Ahead of Elections

Julia Ritchey | VOA News - April 21, 2011
François Muamba

The main opposition party in the Democratic Republic of Congo is in disarray after firing its leader, making it even more difficult to mount a challenge against President Joseph Kabila in upcoming elections. 

The Movement for the Liberation of Congo, or MLC, ousted secretary-general Francois Muamba, amid infighting over the party's future direction.

The disagreement centers around a memorandum sent by a few dozen influential members of the MLC to the party hierarchy. The memo demanded the party hold a convention to clarify its positions and candidates ahead of presidential and legislative elections in November.

Muamba responded to the letter by saying the leadership would address their concerns, which angered some MLC party leaders who said it showed Muamba's bias toward the authors of the memorandum.

An MLC party official, Jean Lucien Bussa, says Muamba refused to consult him before siding with the signatories of the letter, demonstrating that he intends to run the party like his personal property.

Bussa says Muamba has ceased to be the umpire and harmonizer of viewpoints and must resign.  He says the ambitions of a great party like the MLC cannot be reduced to the dimensions of a single individual.

The board of the MLC dismissed Muamba on Monday and replaced him with Thomas Luhaka, who has been tasked with making suggestions on how to restructure the party before polls later this year.  

But the decision to throw out Muamba is sparking controversy, with observers predicting an eventual fragmenting of the party.

One of the signatories of the memorandum, Albert Mpeti, says the decision to dismiss Muamba is unwarranted.  

Mpeti says the secretary-general is the highest authority and, to his knowledge, does not take sides. He asks on what grounds are they throwing him out after he served the party loyally?

Muamba has been at the helm of the party since 2008 after its former leader, ex-Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba, was arrested on a warrant from the International Criminal Court and charged with war crimes. Bemba is accused of authorizing militias to murder and  rape civilians in neighboring Central African Republic in 2002 and 2003.

Muamba, who was not summoned to the crisis meeting in Kinshasa, said he does not recognize the decision replacing him because it infringes on statutes governing the functioning of the party.  

Congo's opposition has been unable to coalesce around a single candidate to challenge incumbent President Joseph Kabila, who in 2006 won Congo's first democratic election since independence.

Parliament adopted a controversial law this year limiting the presidential election to a single-round ballot despite an outcry from the opposition.  The new system is expected to make it even harder for the opposition to challenge Kabila's bid for re-election.

Related articles

  1. DR Congo Citizens Head to Polls to Elect President, Members of Parliament (December 20, 2023)
  2. Felix Tshisekedi Sworn In as DR Congo President (January 24, 2019)
  3. Constitutional Court Declares Tshisekedi Winner of Presidential Election (January 19, 2019)
  4. Martin Fayulu Challenges Presidential Election Results in Court (January 12, 2019)
  5. Felix Tshisekedi Vows to Be the President of All Congolese (January 10, 2019)
  6. Martin Fayulu Rejects Presidential Election Results (January 10, 2019)
  7. Felix Tshisekedi Elected DR Congo President (January 10, 2019)
  8. DR Congo Delays Results of December Election (January 6, 2019)
  9. Bemba, Katumbi renew their support for joint opposition presidential candidate Fayulu (November 16, 2018)
  10. Vital Kamerhe also withdraws support for joint opposition presidential bid (November 12, 2018)
  11. Felix Tshisekedi withdraws support for joint opposition presidential bid (November 12, 2018)
  12. Oppositioin leaders pick Martin Fayulu as joint presidential candidate (November 11, 2018)
  13. Jean-Pierre Bemba banned from running for president (August 25, 2018)
  14. Vital Kamerhe named UNC presidential candidate (August 4, 2018)
  15. Bemba says Katumbi should be allowed to run for president (August 4, 2018)
  16. Moise Katumbi blocked from entering DR Congo (August 3, 2018)
  17. Jean-Pierre Bemba Returns to DR Congo (August 1, 2018)
  18. Jean-Pierre Bemba named MLC presidential candidate (July 13, 2018)
  19. Botswana Urges Joseph Kabila to Step Down (February 26, 2018)
  20. No elections in DR Congo in December without electronic voting machines: INEC (February 13, 2018)
  21. US Warns DR Congo Against Electronic Voting for Delayed Election (February 12, 2018)
  22. Presidential election scheduled for December 23, 2018 (November 5, 2017)
  23. Felix Tshisekedi accuses INEC of illegally prolonging Kabila's mandate (October 24, 2017)
  24. DRC Seeks Arrest of Presidential Candidate Moise Katumbi (May 19, 2016)
  25. Papa Wemba Is Buried in Kinshasa (May 4, 2016)
  26. Papa Wemba Awarded Highest National Honor as Thousands Pay Tribute (May 2, 2016)
  27. Political tensions 'running high' in DR Congo ahead of 2016 elections (October 7, 2015)
  28. Rights Groups: DR Congo Must Free Pro-democracy Activists (April 13, 2015)
  29. Electoral commission sets DR Congo presidential election date (February 12, 2015)
  30. Police Open Fire on Crowd Protesting Election Law Change (January 19, 2015)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.