In the footsteps of Patrice Lumumba: Joseph Kabila finally announces he will run for president above political parties and for all the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo
It is now clear, President Kabila will run for president as an independent candidate, for all the people of Congo.
"I'm joining the race as the candidate of the people," said Kabila, the 34-year-old leader of Congo's postwar national-unity government, which is arranging the first presidential elections in four decades.
This, not withstanding the fact that his party, the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), which has backed Kabila during the country's fragile transition from war towards democracy, had made the call to him to stand after a party congress in February.
Kabila came to power in 2001 after his father and late president, Laurent Kabila, was assassinated (by a bodyguard) in Kinshasa. The 34-year-old has the backing of his father's political supporters who ousted the former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko will capitalise on the end of Congo's war of aggression by troops from Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, backed by western multinationals and who massacred 5 million congolese, raped and systematically looted Congo's natural and mineral resources.
"He doesn't want to get dragged into this messy politics," a presidency source told Reuters after the congress. "He'll remain above this..."
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