The ruling party of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), officially endorsed Felix Tshisekedi as their candidate for the 2023 presidential election during an extraordinary congress held in Kinshasa on Saturday.
The party elected Tshisekedi as their leader for the next five years. Tshisekedi, who has held office since January 2019, had previously announced his intention to seek re-election.
For the national legislative elections, the UDPS is putting forward 495 candidates for the available 500 seats. They are also proposing candidates for all constituencies in the provincial legislative elections.
In the upcoming December elections, Felix Tshisekedi will compete against various candidates, including Moïse Katumbi. His primary opponent, Martin Fayulu, the leader of the opposition party, stated that he would only participate if significant changes were made to the current electoral commission.
Human Rights Watch recently accused Tshisekedi’s government of “suppressing” and “intimidating” the opposition, with concerns about political and electoral violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions, abductions, and threats directed at political opponents. These allegations are based on reports from the UN Joint Human Rights Office.
The Democratic Republic of Congo continues to grapple with armed rebels known as the M23, which Kinshasa and several Western governments claim is supported by neighbouring Rwanda.