KINSHASA (AA) – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila has unveiled a “national unity government” that includes seven opposition figures.
Formation of the government comes in line with recommendations issued in 2013 for consultations between the country’s political powers. The consultations were aimed at ending months of instability that followed 2011 presidential and legislative polls.
Prime Minister Matata Ponyo maintained his post as the head of the government, which is comprised of 47 ministries.
Seven opposition figures were included in the new lineup, including Thomas Luhaka and Germain Kambinga, two leaders of the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo.
Luhaka was named deputy prime minister and minister of telecommunications, while Kambinga was appointed industry minister.
Another opposition figure to enter the government is Bongongo Michel, a leader of the Union of Forces for Change party of Senate Speaker Léon Kengo Wa Dondo.
Michel recently joined the opposition to protest a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Kabila – in power since 2001 – to run for another presidential term in 2016.
The development comes as the Congolese people await a scheduled address by Kabila, in which he will state whether or not he intends to formally propose the constitutional change – a scenario that for several months has generated heated debate in the Central African nation.
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