Felix Tshisekedi Enters Race For DR Congo President

Felix Tshisekedi, a prominent opposition leader in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), submitted on Tuesday his candidacy for the presidential election scheduled for December.

Tshisekedi, president of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), filed for his candidacy accompanied by thousands of his supporters from his residence in Kinshasa.

On the same day, other opposition candidates also submitted their candidacy, while the negotiations for a common candidate are still stalled within the opposition.

Police used tear gas to disperse supporters in Limete, a stronghold of the UDPS, and also near the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the center of the city.

Tshisekedi is among the three main opposition candidates who have already submitted their presidential candidacy. Before him, Jean-Pierre Bemba, former vice-president recently acquitted and released by the International Criminal Court (ICC), and Vital Kamerhe, former president of the National Assembly, also appeared at the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The suspense remains on the camp of President Joseph Kabila who could no longer seek a new mandate after assuming two terms, according to the Constitution. On Tuesday afternoon, Kabila gathered all the leaders of his coalition to discuss on a likely candidate to replace him.

After this meeting closed late in the evening, no name has been announced. The official announcement is scheduled for early Wednesday morning, according to government spokesman Lambert Mende.

Political tension is high across the country, especially in Kinshasa following the silence of President Kabila on the suspicions of him trying to seek a third term. After his second and last term officially expired at the end of 2016, Kabila has repeatedly promised that he will respect the constitution.

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