Representatives from four of DR Congo’s five main oppossition parties held talks in South Africa this week to form a coalition ahead of elections next month, organisers said Saturday.
The party that did not participate was that of Martin Fayulu, leader of Edice (Engagement for Citizenship and Development), who claims he was the true winner of December 2018 elections that were taken by President Felix Tshisekedi.
The four other opposition candidates represented in Pretoria were former Katanga governor Moise Katumbi, Nobel Peace prize winner Denis Mukwege, former prime minister Matata Ponyo and lawmaker Delly Sesanga.
The meetings were coordinated by the In Transformation Initiative (ITI), a non-government group, and the Kofi Annan Foundation.
“The discussion were very constructive, we did the work of sherpas, it is now up to the candidates to continue this work” in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with a view of a possible joint presidential ticket, Olivier Kamitatu, spokesman for Katumbi, told AFP.
The delegates agreed that a new coalition, called Congo Ya Makasi, or A Strong Congo, should be “built on values and a common program rather than on people,” he added.
“The candidates’ representatives produced framework documents for the opposition coalition, identifying areas of convergence in terms of vision, values and programme,” organisers said in a statement.
Their common program is based on four “pillers”: security and institutions the range from combating corruption to reducing the cost of living, economic growth, social issues and environmental protection, one participant said.
The representatives also defined criteria identifying an “ideal common candidate”, who woul dgive the coalition the best chance at taking on Tshisekedi, who is vying for a second five-year term.
A representative for Fayulu could not immediately be reached Saturday.
According to a source close to the talks, his delegation had not signed the pact because of “outstanding issues”, but also did not rule out joining at a later stage.