President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

President of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Presidential Seal of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg
Presidential Seal
Presidential Standard of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg
Presidential Standard
Joseph kabila.jpg
Incumbent
Joseph Kabila

since 17 January 2001
Residence Palais de la Nation Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Term length 5 years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Joseph Kasavubu
Formation 1 July 1960
Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Democratic Republic
of the Congo

The President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: Président de la République démocratique du Congo, Swahili: Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo, Lingala: Mokonzi wa Republíki ya Kongó Demokratíki), is Congo's elected Head of State, and the ex officio "Supreme Commander" (Commander-in-Chief) of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC).

The position of President in the DRC has existed since the first constitution – known as The Fundamental Law – of 1960. However the powers of this position have varied over the years, from a limited shared role in the executive branch, with a prime minister, to a full-blown dictatorship. Under the current constitution, the President exists as the highest institution in a semi-presidential Republic.

The current President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Joseph Kabila.

Presidential powers

The semi-presidential system established by the constitution is largely borrowed from the French constitution. Although it is the prime minister and parliament that oversee much of the nation's actual lawmaking, the president wields significant influence, both formally and from constitutional convention. The president holds the nation's most senior office, and outranks all other politicians.

Perhaps the president's greatest power is his or her ability to choose the prime minister. However, since only the National Assembly has the power to dismiss the Prime Minister's government, the president is forced to name a prime minister that commands the support of the majority of this assembly.

Among the formal powers of the president:

Requirements

Article 72 of the Congolese constitution states that the President must be a natural born citizen – or more accurately: French: citoyen d'origine – of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and at least 30 years of age. Additionally, the President must be free of any legal constraints on their civil and political rights.

Article 10 of the same constitution defines citoyen d'origine as : "anyone belonging to the ethnic groups whose persons and territory constituted what became the Congo (currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo), at independence".

Succession

Articles 75 and 76 of the constitution state that upon the death or resignation of the President, the vacancy of the position is declared by the Constitutional court. The President of the Senate then becomes interim president.

The Independent Electoral Commission has to organize elections between sixty (60) and ninety (90)[15] days after the official declaration of vacancy by the Constitutional court.

Other information

Palais de la Nation,
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

The official office of the president is the Palais de la Nation (Palace of the Nation) in Kinshasa.

The official residence of the president is the Camp Tshatshi Palace in Kinshasa, although it has not been used since it was looted in 1997. Other presidential residences include:

Election

Under the 2006 constitution, the President is directly elected to a five-year term – renewable only once – by universal suffrage. The first President to have been elected under these provisions is Joseph Kabila, in the 2006 elections.

In the DRC, the president is elected by a Two-round system of voting, which ensures the elected President always obtains a majority of the vote. If none of the candidates manage to receive the majority of the votes then the top two candidates in the election arrive at a run off. This allows smaller parties to have a greater impact on the outcome of elections, thus guaranteeing a multi-party system, as opposed to a two-party system.

After the president is elected, he goes through a solemn investiture ceremony.

2006 election

e • d Summary of the 30 July 2006 presidential election results
Candidate Party Votes %
Joseph Kabila Independent 7,590,485 44.81%
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo Movement for the Liberation of Congo 3,392,592 20.03%
Antoine Gizenga Unified Lumumbist Party 2,211,280 13.06%
Nzanga Mobutu Union of Mobutist Democrats 808,397 4.77%
Oscar Kashala Union for Congo's Reconstruction 585,410 3.46%
Azarias Ruberwa Manywa Congolese Rally for Democracy 285,641 1.69%
Pierre Pay-Pay wa Syakasighe Federalist Christian Democracy-Convention of Federalists for Christian Democracy 267,749 1.58%
Vincent de Paul Lunda-Bululu Rally of Social and Federalist Forces 237,257 1.40%
Joseph Olenghankoy Mukundji New Forces for Union and Solidarity 102,186 0.60%
Pierre Anatole Matusila Malungenine Kongo Independent 99,408 0.59%
Antipas Mbusa Nyamwisi Renewal Forces 96,503 0.57%
Bernard Emmanuel Kabatu Suila USL 86,143 0.51%
Eugène Diomi Ndongala Christian Democracy 85,897 0.51%
other candidates 2,319,547 6.42%
Total (turnout 70.54%) 17,931,238
Source: CEI-RDC

2011 election

e • d Summary of the 28 November 2011 Democratic Republic of the Congo presidential election results
Candidate Party Votes %
Joseph Kabila Independent 8,880,944 48.95%
Étienne Tshisekedi Union for Democracy and Social Progress 5,864,775 32.33%
Vital Kamerhe Union for the Congolese Nation 1,403,372 7.74%
Léon Kengo Union of Forces of Change 898,362 4.95%
Antipas Mbusa Independent 311,787 1.72%
Nzanga Mobutu Union of Mobutuist Democrats 285,273 1.57%
Jean Andeka Alliance of Congolese Nationalist Believers 128.820 0.71%
Adam Bombolé Independent 126,623 0.70%
François Nicéphore Kakese Union for the Revival and the Development of Congo 92,737 0.51%
Josué Alex Mukendi Independent 78,151 0.43%
Oscar Kashala Union for the Rebuilding of Congo 72,260 0.40%
Total (turnout 58.81%) 18,911,572 100.00%
Source: CENI-RDC

See also

Historical:

References

External links