At least 300 of the 500 members of the lower house of the National Assembly signed the motion.
A majority of the lower house of parliament in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has tabled a motion of no confidence in the prime minister, a move that could force the government to collapse and give President Félix Tshisekedi a great political victory.
The motion, which lawmaker Chérubin Okende said on Friday bore the signatures of more than 300 of the 500 members of the National Assembly, gives Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba 48 hours to step down or face a vote of no confidence.
Last month, Tshisekedi decided to end a coalition formed with his predecessor Joseph Kabila that has limited Tshisekedi’s authority since taking office in January 2019. Since then, he has persuaded many MPs to leave the alliance Kabila, who previously controlled the majority in parliament.
While Tshisekedi’s new political group, known as the Sacred Union, has yet to officially regain a majority, which requires a separate declaration, Ilunga’s political fate appears sealed.
“The majority of the National Assembly is in favor of the departure of the prime minister,” Okende, one of the authors of the motion, told Reuters news agency.
If his allies emerge with a parliamentary majority, the president could appoint a cabinet of his choice after two years in which Kabila’s allies have dominated important ministries, blocking Tshisekedi’s agenda.
It would also free Tshisekedi’s hand to appoint a head of the electoral commission and a new central bank board, a prerequisite for much needed assistance from international donors.
But political analysts say the behind-the-scenes horse trading of Tshisekedi’s new allies could point to one political elite being replaced by another rather than a substantive change.
“At best, we gain a few months before the next crisis without any real change in governance. At worst, we are heading for something… worse, ”said Jean Claude Mputu, political scientist at the University of Liège.