Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Sunday, December 12, 2010

UDPS congress begins in Kinshasa

Etienne Tshisekedi addressed his party's national congress yesterday in Kinshasa. A full 5,000 delegates are reportedly attending from around the Congo and including members of the diaspora - an impressive mobilization. Tshisekedi called for unity within his party, which has suffered numerous defections and internal splits over the years. In this light, the fact that this is the first national congress of the party since its founding in 1982 has prompted criticism.

In attendance were also potential rivals in the 2011 presidential campaign - Vital Kamerhe, Azarias Ruberwa and Ne Muanda Nsemi. You can listed to their reactions here. It looks like Tshisekedi is already getting the sympathy (and perhaps endorsement?) of Bundu dia Kongo's leader Muanda Nsemi, which would be important for votes in Bas-Congo.

Strikingly, none of the anglophone media have covered Tshisekedi's arrival or the congress so far; a story about a South African kayaker killed by a crocodile has instead made the press. 

This is the depiction of the caricaturist Kash Tembo of Kabila's reaction to how Tshisekedi's arrival has dominated the local landscape. For those interested, you can find Kabila's state of the nation address here.


Thomas Hubert said...

"None of the anglophone media have covered Tshisekedi's arrival"... apart from the BBC on Focus on Africa

Jason Stearns said...

Good to know that u guys covered Tshitshi's return. I should have said "None of the anglophone print media or online media covered it."

Anonymous said...

Kash does it again. Wonderful work.

Anonymous said...

This blog often cites Tshisekedi & Kamerhe as rival candidates of Kabila, with mention of Kashala and MLC (Bemba's political party that has yet to determine itself).

If I am not mistaken, there has been no mention of Léon Kengo wa Dondo, even though Congolese cyberspace is bristling with rumors of the impending surprise element of the "Outsider", considered by some Congolese statesmen as a serious contender given the fact that the Senate is percieved to be the institution that has been managed , and functioned, the most seriously and effectively of all the institutions produced by the 2006 elections (when making each of their "bilan" for the 1st mandate of the 3rd Republic)?

How about an in-depth analysis of all possible serious contenders i.e. so far Tshisekedi, Kamerhe, Kengo, Kashala & MLC?

Is it safe to hope that the DRC stands a chance at democratic "alternance" rather than going the mediocre way of too many african countries i.e. just another electoral mascarade in 2011 only reinforcing and strengthening what is in reality a dictatorship?

Questions begging answers!

Jason Stearns said...

So little time, so many blog posts to do....

As for Kengo, I agree, there is a lot of talk about him, and he has been a skillful manager of the senate. But he doesn't have a popular base and then there is always the issue of his Mobutist-Rwandan heritage. Although I hear he has presidential ambitions, I see him better at navigating the pitfalls of elite politics than starting a popular campaign.

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