By Godfrey Olukya
ARU, Democratic Republic of Congo
Paving the way for presidential elections and a possible peaceful political transition later this year, allied opposition parties in Democratic Republic of Congo Wednesday nominated a prime minister to lead the transitional government, according to an opposition official.
The country’s allied opposition parties, led by Etienne Tshisekedi, head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), nominated his son Felix Tshisekedi as premier, opposition coalition mobilizer Mwana Mbuge, in Kinshasa, told Anadolu Agency in a telephone interview.
He is to replace incumbent Prime Minister Samy Badibanga, who was appointed by President Joseph Kabila last November.
Under the agreement reached between Kabila's side and the opposition coalition on Dec. 31, Kabila will remain in office until the election of his successor at the end of this year, while the prime minister and National Monitoring Council were entrusted to the opposition.
''We have nominated Felix Tshisekedi because we have confidence in him. He has the qualities of a good leader,'' said Mbuge.
He added that they agreed the three vice-chairs of the National Council for the follow-up of the agreement should be entrusted respectively to the opposition, the African Union, and Kabila’s group.
In a statement, Jean-Pierre Lisanga, coordinator of the opposition coalition, praised the choice of Tshisekedi, a 20-year veteran of the UDPS, and also thanked the National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO) for helping the opposition and Kabila come to an agreement.
This comes two days after DRC constitution coordinator Eve Bazaiba asked the opposition coalition to appoint a prime minister before the end of the week.
Kabila's term in office expired last Dec. 19 but he refused to step down, saying the country was not ready for general elections.