Is DR Congo still a democracy?

We speak to DRC’s communications minister about postponed elections and debate the future of Germany’s Angela Merkel.

On this week’s UpFront, we speak with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s minister of communications about President Joseph Kabila”s refusal to step down.

And in the Arena, we debate the future of Germany’s Angela Merkel as she struggles to form a coalition.

DRC minister: Police ‘didn’t kill any protester’

Just how democratic is the Democratic Republic of Congo? President Joseph Kabila’s term expired in 2016, and yet he is still in office, with elections postponed twice and now announced for December 2018.

Since 2016, more than 100 people have been killed in protests demanding Kabila step down and elections take place.

DR Congo’s Minister of Communications, Lambert Mende, says the reported numbers of those killed is a “lie”.

“Do you think that there is any country in this central Africa, this part of the continent, where people can demonstrate freely as in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” says Mende. “There have been confrontations between terrorist elements and our soldiers.”

In this week’s Headliner, we speak with the Congolese Minister of Communications Lambert Mende about violence in the country and whether elections will be held this year.

Is Angela Merkel’s era of dominance over?

She has been called the new ‘leader of the free world’, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has grown increasingly unpopular at home and has been undermined by the rise of the far-right.

So how much is Merkel herself to blame for the problems she, and Germany, now face?

Yascha Mounk, a lecturer at Harvard University, says Merkel’s current unpopularity partly stems from the fact she’s been in office for nearly 13 years and hasn’t shown calculated leadership.

“Obviously, once you’ve been in power over 10 years it’s easy for people to sour on you. But I think the best line on Angela Merkel always used to be that she’s minimally invasive. She doesn’t really get on your nerves,” says Mounk. “I think people are recognising that she actually hasn’t shown real strategic leadership.”

However, when asked about her legacy, Ralph Bollmann, author of “The Germans: Angela Merkel and Us,” remained positive:

“Her legacy is, in my view, that she managed to…bring Germany and Europe quite safe through the recent 10 years of crisis,” says Bollmann.

In this week’s Arena, we debate the successes and failures of Angela Merkel.

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