DRC: The Appointment of Opposition Figure Samy Badibanga as PM

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In the latest political disorientation and scepticism in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the president, Joseph Kabila has appointed opposition politician Samy Badibanga as prime minister. Under a controversial power-sharing deal, the new appointment is seen by many as a smart political move aimed at extending the term in office of the president, who is facing increasing pressure from the opposition and the West to vacate power after the expiration of his term in December. Others think otherwise, insisting that the appointment is the best way by the president to treat the country`s political tumour.

The power-sharing deal, which was brokered in October agreement between the government and fringe opposition groups, leading to the appointment of Samy Badibanga as prime minister has been seriously criticised by the opposition, which sees the plan as a way to bring dichotomy within their camp in order to weaken it. Interestingly, even though Badibanga took part in the October negotiation, the leader of his party, Etienne Tshisekedi boycotted the talks. It is in the light of this boycott that many questions are being raised in different quarters regarding the new appointment.

Is the appointment of Samy Badibanga as prime minister a smart political move by president Joseph Kabila, aimed at consolidating his power, which is recently under a serious threat? Or is it a way of addressing opposition`s concerns and bringing the long-expected peace to the country? Having in mind that his party did not support his power-sharing arrangement, is Samy Badibanga`s decision to accept the new post, borne out of selfish or national political interest? Will the new appointment bring peace to the country or is it a harbinger of doom and turmoil?