- President Kabila likely intends to use the announcement of Ramazani Shadary’s candidacy to retain power, either as a disguise for his own upcoming presidential candidacy or de facto through parallel channels while out of office.
- However, the ascension of Ramazani Shadary to the presidency would likely be followed by his swift consolidation of power, including at Kabila’s expense, increasing contract alteration and corruption risks.
- The successful election of Ramazani Shadary would likely be rejected by opposition parties, increasing risks of anti-government militant violence.
The presidential candidacy of Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s ruling Common Front for Congo (Front Commun pour le Congo: FCC) alliance, rather than incumbent President Joseph Kabila, was announced on 8 August by Communications Minister Lambert Mende. Ramazani Shadary’s ascension would drive increased contract alteration, corruption, and terrorism risks.
Ramazani Shadary is a former vice-prime minister and minister of interior and security. In May 2017, he was sanctioned by the European Union for “planning, directing, or committing acts that constitute serious human rights violations”. A successor candidate selected by the president is widely referred to as a “dauphin” in Congolese politics and the country’s press.
This announcement is in keeping with President Kabila’s strategy of using surprise to keep both his allies and his opponents off-balance politically, as Ramazani Shadary had not been widely discussed as a probable successor. It also serves Kabila’s strategy of keeping open his political options, as, despite the announcement on 8 August, three key scenarios remain possible and likely under consideration, which are discussed below.
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