Parliament endorses new DR Congo government

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KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Prime Minister Sama Lukonde and his government got a vote confidence from the National Assembly on Monday.

Despite criticism by deputies during debate, both the government and its leader were endorsed with 410 votes out of 412 MPs present at the plenary session of the lower house.

Lukonde, accompanied by his 56 Cabinet members presented his manifesto before the vote.

The new government is made up of four deputy prime ministers, nine ministers of state, 31 ministers, 11 deputy ministers, and one minister delegate. It includes 15 women.

He said the goal of his program is to increase the budget to $12 billion from the current $7 billion.

He mentioned government measures against insecurity in the eastern part of the country where armed groups are accused of massive abuses against civilians.

Lukonde said President Félix Tshisekedi could declare a state of military emergency in the conflicting provinces where civilian authorities could be replaced by the military.

“I looked for something new in this program, I did not find anything, it is a déjà vu,” Genevieve Inagosi​​​​​​​, an opposition MP told Anadolu Agency, demanding a program focused on “verifiable results and indicators.”

The new government is formed after two months of negotiations between new allies of the president, who overthrew the parliamentary majority of his predecessor.

Lukonde was appointed the new prime minister in February. Tshisekedi picked him over two weeks after former prime minister Sylvestre Ilunga resigned following a no-confidence vote in parliament late January.

Ilunga, an ally of former President Joseph Kabila, was the head of the coalition government. His resignation followed Tshisekedi’s decision to end a power-sharing agreement with supporters of Kabila after months of tensions between the two camps.​​​​​​​

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