Allies of former Congolese President Joseph Kabila on Monday accused President Felix Tshisekedi of violating the constitution over his plan to form a new governing coalition, describing the move as “dictatorial”.
Tshisekedi and Kabila formed a governing coalition with several smaller parties after Democratic Republic of Congo’s disputed 2018 election, but the awkward partnership has been strained this year, raising the spectre of political violence.
On Sunday, President Felix Tshisekedi said he planned to form a new coalition in the hope of ending political deadlock in the vast, mineral-rich central African country of 80 million people.
Kabila’s Common Front for Congo (FCC) political alliance rejected the move.
Tshisekedi’s actions “violate the constitution and serve as a pretext to liquidate the institutions established by the elections,” FCC representative Nehemie Mwilanya said at a press conference.
The exchange deepens a standoff that has led to sometimes violent protests in the capital Kinshasa and elsewhere this year. On Monday, rival groups of supporters gathered outside parliament amid a heavy police presence.
Tshisekedi on Sunday did not rule out holding fresh elections if unable to form a new majority.
“There is a long-running crisis driven in particular by parliament’s refusal to support certain government initiatives,” he said.
Kabila, who served 18 years as president, has maintained extensive influence as the FCC holds a majority in parliament and most posts in the cabinet.