Congo gets new prime minister

Joseph Kabila names Antoine Gizenga as DR Congo's new prime minister.

    Gizenga had been widely expected to become the prime minister [AFP]

    Gizenga, who came third in the first round of a presidential election in July, signed an agreement with Kabila's political coalition ahead of an October runoff, promising his support in exchange for a guarantee that the post of prime minister would go to a member of his party.

    "PALU is extremely pleased," Godefroid Mayobo, Gizenga's spokesman, told Reuters shortly after the announcement.

     

    "We have finally come back to where we were when we were pushed aside."

    Gizenga served as deputy to Patrice Lumumba, Congo's first prime minister, who was assassinated in early 1961 months after the vast, mineral-rich country spanning central Africa achieved independence from Belgium the previous year.

    He later headed a rebel government of Lumumba's supporters in Kisangani in the country's northeast, following a coup led by Mobutu Sese Seko.

    First arrested, then driven into exile for nearly three decades, Gizenga has not had an official government post since 1960.

    Until the 2006 elections, his PALU party had never held a parliamentary seat, having refused to take part in a series of undemocratic elections in Mobutu's dictatorship, during which the country's politics was largely reduced to kleptocracy.

    The UN-backed elections were meant to draw a line under a 1998-2003 war and resulting humanitarian crisis that killed an estimated four million Congolese, mostly from starvation and disease. However, militia violence continues in eastern areas.

    Joseph Kabila came to power as the world's youngest head of state following the murder of his father Laurent in 2001.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months