50 years after the assassination of Lumumba, another step back for democracy in Africa

Double commemoration in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday. President Laurent Desire Kabila was assassinated 10 years ago to the day. Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was killed 40 years earlier, also on January 17.


At the same time, Joseph Kabila, 39, who’s been at the head of DRC for 10 years, has modified the Constitution to adopt one-round presidential elections. Officially, it is a measure to “reduce the costs” and avoid a Côte d’Ivoire/Kenya/Zimbabwe-like situation.


Ten-month before the November elections, the head of state of DR Congo Joseph Kabila has managed to revise the Constitution including the transition to a single-round presidential election, contested by the opposition who feared “cheating on a large scale
Saturday, despite the boycott of major opposition parties, the Congolese Parliament, dominated by the Alliance of the Presidential Majority (AMP, in power) was largely in favor of amending the Constitution, promulgated in February 2006 .

Of 608 senators and deputies, 485 voted for the amendment of the eight proposed articles, while eight voted against and eleven abstained.
This change during the first month of the election year is,  “inappropriate ” according to the opposition. It “has the sole purpose of organizing large-scale cheating, ” they have said.

Although controversial and violent, the 2006 election seemed to open a new era for the war-torn country. Despite his 58% victory, Kabila seems not too confident against his main competitors for the november’s elections (Tshisekedi, Bemba and Kamerhe).
50 years after the death of one of Africa’s greatest sons, his successors do not seem to live up to lead the country.

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