The state of democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), hung in the balance earlier this year as Joseph Kabila, the DRC’s interim prime minister, was scheduled to step down from office as his second term would be coming to an end on December 19th. Although the constitution of the DRC requires its Prime Ministers to hold office for only two mandates, the international community nervously watched on as it was announced that the election was delayed.
As tensions continue to rise between fringe groups, the international community, Kabila supporters, along with pro-democracy groups, a deal needed to be made. Currently, the president of the DRC has named an opposition politician as prime minister: Samy Badibanga. This arrangement comes as a result of a controversial deal between the government and fringe groups that will in effect extend the president’s term in office. The news of this deal comes as a disappointing update for many Congolese people across the African state. Their country has yet to experience a period of peaceful transition of power. Moving forward, would international organizations and governments be able to work towards establishing a democracy within such a troubled state? The idea of making the DRC a model of democracy may come as a difficult task, as Kabila has warned against foreign “interference”. The upcoming years for the DRC will be critical in either solidifying the cycle of tyranny, or establishing the first steps of building a democracy.