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DR Congo's Kabila backs ex-interior minister for vote: spokesman

AFP  |  Kinshasa 

DR Joseph Kabila, ending months of speculation, has chosen former to be his successor in upcoming elections, the government said today.

The announcement came just hours before the deadline for lodging applications for the December 23 election -- a vote that analysts say is crucial for the country's future.

Shadary is of Kabila's party, the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD).

He "will represent our political family in the presidential election," told a press conference. "We will all rally behind him."

A country of some 80 million people, the Democratic Republic of has never known a peaceful government transition since it gained independence from in 1960.

Kabila, 47, has been in power for 17 years, taking over from his father, Laurent-Desire Kabila, who was killed by a

He has been accused by critics of corruption, incompetence and rights abuses. is barred from running in the polls, according to the two-term limit set in the country's constitution.

But speculation has mounted in recent months that he would try to stand again, perhaps by arguing that he was entitled to do because of a constitutional revision in 2006.

Opponents staged protests that were bloodily repressed, triggering angry condemnations from the and the

Late yesterday, held talks with his political allies, who are joined in an electoral platform called the Common Front for (FCC), on picking a candidate who would succeed him.

Their choice was "the conclusion of consultations that the .., the moral authority of the the Common Front for Congo, undertook to find the rare bird," Mende told journalists.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, August 08 2018. 19:15 IST