PM resigns to satisfy opposition demands


Prime Minister Augustin Matata Ponyo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has resigned his post as part of a national dialogue framework agreement which requires that an opposition leader should take the position of prime minister.

The agreement, which was brokered by the African Union (AU) in October allows for President Joseph Kabila to remain in office until April 2018 when fresh presidential elections will be held. Kabila was due to end his term of office in December this year with elections originally expected in October or November.

The agreement, which runs to around 15 pages provided for a transition and power-sharing government to comprise members of the opposition, the ruling coalition and civil society. The prime minister will come from the opposition and no member of the interim government will be allowed to stand for the post of president.

There have been major protests organised by opposition parties at the delay in holding the presidential election and the major opposition parties led by √Čtienne Tshisekedi, leader of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), have refused to sign the agreement. The delay in the date for elections was requested by the elections commission but many believe that it was a strategy to allow the president to remain in office.

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