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DRC: FCC-CACH coalition, which has an interest in delaying the formation of the government?

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FCC-CACH

[TRIBUNE] – Six months after the elections and the bitter political negotiations, sometimes marked by mood swings, the Congolese people still look forward to the formation of a government that will finally have to deal with many urgent problems from the country.

During all these negotiations, the two camps, namely the Common Front for Congo (FCC) of former President Joseph Kabila and the Cape for Change (CACH) of the current President Felix Tshisekedi, remained very stingy with comments about the lingering blockages about coalition government formation.

The question that is on everyone’s lips in Congolese public opinion is, of course: who has an interest in delaying the formation of the government?

This delay seriously undermines the confidence of the Congolese people who believed in the democratic process under way in their country. This suggests that there is a lack of sincerity and real political will of these two allies of circumstances to work together to best meet the basic needs of the population.

Meanwhile, President Tshisekedi plays his full role in the functioning of the institutions as well as in the diplomatic life of the country. To the chagrin of those who think he would be a formal president without real power, lack of a parliamentary majority.

Admittedly, the task looks difficult for Felix Tshisekedi and his room for maneuver is narrow in the current context. In a country that does not have an effective, efficient and independent political interference, government formation should be a national emergency to start addressing the country’s critical issues and address the major development challenges facing the country. country is facing.

However, if we rely on the words of some indiscreet mouths that revolve around the current power in Kinshasa, Congolese should finally see the end of the tunnel in the days or weeks ahead. In all likelihood, the two FCC-CACH allies finally reached an agreement in principle on the size, the structure of the government, as well as the distribution of the portfolios. There remains now the designation of the animators, which is not a small task in a political alliance where everyone is positioned as future ministerial.

This is when we will see the first cracks in this coalition. For its part, the Congolese people are waiting to see new people coming to the government with a new spirit, including a rigorous approach to public financial management to support Felix Tshisekedi’s program for the next five years.

A fragile coalition

It can not be said enough, the FCC-CACH alliance does not yet seem to be deeply rooted in the mentality of grassroots activists of the member political parties who look at each other in faience dogs.

Hearing the statements of activists from some of the parties in this alliance, there is almost no doubt that the collaboration promises to be difficult and perilous. It is clear that the activists are cautious about this unnatural alliance and their political partners which they distrust. Under these circumstances, everything suggests that the machine will not seize for very long.

Moreover, several observers have serious doubts about the chances that this alliance can withstand the inevitable winds and tides of Congolese politics. And, the big question is how long will the FCC-CACH coalition last? An alliance that is slipping even before the coalition government is in place.

In any case, it will not be in anyone’s interest to want to play politics. We are already witnessing isolated or planned acts of systematic obstruction of the decisions of the President of the Republic, which may prove counterproductive for both.

We are among those who thought that, in accordance with Article 78 of the Congolese Constitution, President Tshisekedi would proceed to appoint an informant to identify a parliamentary majority with a view to forming a stable government. Unfortunately, even though the Congolese Constitution is very clear about this, this has not been the case. The President of the Republic proceeded directly to the appointment of a trainer of the government, recognizing de facto the majority to the FCC.

As is customary in many states with a semi-presidential political system, with a head of state elected by direct universal suffrage and a government accountable to Parliament, in principle the problem should not arise for government formation. Only here, despite this majority in Parliament, the real or presumed victors of the last legislative elections, opted for a government coalition against nature.

The task promises to be very hard for President Tshisekedi, who is called upon to exercise in full the powers conferred on him by the Constitution in the service of the Congolese people, with a Parliament in which his party is a very small minority. Felix Tshisekedi must show great wisdom, political tact, but also a lot of rigor to ensure greater internal coherence in the coming government. Never mind, FCC and CACH must know that they serve the Congolese people, not the other way around.

Isidore Kwandja Ngembo, Political scientist and public policy analyst

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DRC: the « education » project will be submitted to the WB Board of Directors in February 2020

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DRC: Education project to be submitted to World Bank Board in February 2020

The Government’s emergency project on free « Basic Education » will be submitted to the World Bank’s Executive Board in February 2020. According to the Vice President for Africa, Hafez Ghanem, preparations are being intensified to ensure that this deadline is met.

« We are working very quickly on this education project. And we plan to bring this project to our Council as early as February. Regarding the height of the amount, we are in the process of making evaluations. It’s going to be a big amount, around a billion US dollars, » he told reporters at the end of his meeting with the Congolese delegation led by Finance Minister José Sele Yalaghuli.

Indeed, this emergency project is part of World Bank support for the Government’s efforts to provide free basic education, the implementation of which began last September.

To relieve the pressure on public finances to allocate at least US$25-37 million each month, the World Bank has pledged to support the Congolese Government in this regard.

https://twitter.com/Zoom_eco/status/1184909044315758593?s=20In line with the commitment of the Head of State, Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, and the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, the Minister of Finance, José Sele Yalaghuli, has clearly indicated the Congolese Government’s firm desire to see the process speed up so that funds are released within an acceptable time frame.

« This is the right time for the partners of DR Congo to match the real political will of the Congolese national executive to meet one of the aspects of the World Bank’s mandate, namely: the fight against poverty, » he said at a previous meeting with the World Bank delegation led by Jean-Christophe Carret.

With regard to the health coverage programme, Hafez Ghanem reiterated his institution’s commitment to continue working alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, particularly in the fight against Ebola.

 

He added: « We will also work with the Government on a new health programme to strengthen basic health centres and improve access to health across the country. »

However, he gave no indication of the amount of funding for this health programme, especially since it is currently under study.

As a reminder, the delegations of DR Congo and the World Bank held a working meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 in Washington DC. Experts from both sides, led by José Sele Yalaghuli and Hafez Ghanem respectively, reviewed ongoing projects within the World Bank portfolio and those under preparation.

In addition to education and health, projects related to infrastructure, connectivity (roads) and the digital economy were also discussed.

Eric TSHIKUMA, from Washington

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DRC: the three axes of the Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality

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DRC: the three axes of the Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality

The President of the Republic launched his Accelerated Programme to Combat Poverty and Inequality in Kinshasa on Wednesday 16 October at the site of my valley in the commune of Mongafula.

This Programme aims to ensure that twenty million Congolese living in rural and peri-urban areas in the 145 territories of our country leave poverty or extreme poverty within the next 5 years.

It has three components: improving rural and peri-urban populations’ access to basic socio-economic infrastructure and services; promoting rural and peri-urban economies; and building capacity in managing for development results at the national, provincial and local levels.

The first component aims to increase the population’s access to basic services such as housing, electricity through the promotion of micro hydroelectric power plants, drinking water, health and agricultural access roads. This list is not exhaustive.

The second component aims to ensure that people in villages and peri-urban neighbourhoods have improved and stable sources of income and that they consume at least one balanced meal per day. This component will place particular emphasis on promoting inclusive agricultural sectors.

The third component aims to develop a culture of autonomy, which will result in the appropriation of development by the beneficiary populations, the strengthening of self-esteem, meritocracy and a motivated attachment to their living environment.

Substantial resources for this ambitious program!

« The Programme, the main components of which I have just unveiled, requires ambitious funding over several years, » said Félix Tshisekedi, aware of these challenges. In the face of such an ambition, the Head of State asks the Government to spare no effort to explore all possible avenues likely to provide the means for this saving action for the people.

It is with this in mind that the last Council of Ministers adopted the hypothesis of a budget reaching the 10 billion mark.

In addition, Félix Tshisekedi intends to engage the country in far-reaching reforms ranging from the rebuilding of the state with justice as the epicentre to the sectors of national life.

This is how he makes his main focus the fight against anti-values, particularly corruption, embezzlement of public funds, tax fraud, smuggling and tribalism. And all means will be used to ensure that all State revenues are channelled into the Public Treasury.

Finally, to make this programme a success, the President of the Republic is counting on the involvement of all his compatriots, beyond the divisions.
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Harris Kasongo

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DRC: Economic and financial situation at the heart of a meeting at the World Bank

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DRC: Economic and financial situation at the heart of a meeting at the World Bank

The economic situation in DR Congo is the focus of a meeting on Thursday 17 October 2019 at the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington DC. The Minister of Finance, José Sele Yalaghuli, leads the delegation of Congolese experts.

In his presentation, the national silversmith described a macroeconomic framework for DR Congo that has remained stable.

Despite accumulated deficits of 420 billion Congolese francs at the end of September 2019, domestic prices and the exchange rate fluctuated slightly. And at this rate, the Government reports inflation of 4.2% at the end of December 2019, which is below the 7% end of period forecast level.

Referring to the strategic and political orientations of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Minister Sele Yalaghuli cited in particular the tightening of public spending in order to limit deficits and the subscription of treasury bonds with the ambition of mobilizing 150 billion CDF by the end of 2019 to fill the gaps.

The first results are promising, especially since a small monthly budget surplus was recorded at the end of September 2019.

Moreover, added Sele Yalaghuli, the third orientation concerns the Government’s firm commitment to pursue the implementation of reforms with the support of partners to remove obstacles sector by sector and to be able to remedy them.

With regard to cooperation between the Congo DR and the Bretton Woods institutions. After the break-up of the formal programme with the IMF in 2012, the ongoing recovery strategy of the current discussions is based on two options.

First, the interim program. Then, the formal program. If the first one will cover the preparation period of the second one, the conclusion of the formal programme could take place after the third quarter of 2020.

« This is the right time for the partners of DR Congo to match the real political will of the Congolese national executive to meet one of the aspects of the World Bank’s mandate, namely: the fight against poverty, » José Sele Yalaghuli said, addressing the World Bank delegation led by Jean-Christophe Carret.

With the World Bank, experts from DR Congo are working on preparations and options to initiate disbursement of funds for the Government’s priority sectors on are: basic education and universal health coverage.

This interaction with World Bank teams continued, with Hafez Ghanem, Vice President in charge of the Africa region, as the focus.

Eric TSHIKUMA, from Washington DC

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