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Macron urges Tshisekedi to assert 'autonomy': French source

By AFP

Added 14th March 2019 07:00 PM

Tshisekedi, sworn in on January 24, has been unable to push through his choice of prime minister months after long-ruling Kabila yielded power, and has been working provisionally with the executive left behind by his predecessor.

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Emmanuel Macron. Photo/File

Tshisekedi, sworn in on January 24, has been unable to push through his choice of prime minister months after long-ruling Kabila yielded power, and has been working provisionally with the executive left behind by his predecessor.

Emmanuel Macron, on an East African state visit, urged his Democratic Republic of Congo counterpart Felix Tshisekedi to "claim his autonomy" from predecessor Joseph Kabila's clan, an aide to the French president told AFP Thursday.
 
Kabila's Common Front For Congo (FCC) remains the strongest force in parliament, garnering an overwhelming majority of seats in a December 30 vote which yielded a presidential victory for opposition leader Tshisekedi.
 
Tshisekedi, sworn in on January 24, has been unable to push through his choice of prime minister months after long-ruling Kabila yielded power, and has been working provisionally with the executive left behind by his predecessor.
 
Macron and Tshisekedi met in Nairobi on Wednesday night at a dinner hosted by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on the eve of the One Planet Summit.
 
The French leader also urged Tshisekedi to "make gestures towards the other opposition," a reference to Martin Fayulu, who disputes the outcome of the elections, the French source told AFP.
 
Fayulu says the result was a stitch-up between Tshisekedi and Kabila.
 
He was officially credited with 34.8 percent of the vote against 38.5 percent for Tshisekedi, but claims his real score was around 60 percent.
 
"From France's point of view, it is obviously not a question of organising new elections," said the source, referring to Fayulu's calls for a fresh vote, "but he (Tshisekedi) must bring guarantees to show that he truly represents change."
 
Last month, Kabila gathered the leaders of the FCC coalition's 18 member parties at his farm, and pressed them to sign a loyalty pledge.
 
Tshisekedi's Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) only garnered 32 seats out of 500 in the National Assembly.
 
Tshisekedi has voiced his frustration at the state of affairs, saying he would "not accept being a president who reigns but doesn't govern."
 
 
    

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