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|President of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo
|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|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Democratic Republic of the Congo
|United Nations Mission|
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 the head of state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
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 president is protected by the Republican Guard.
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:
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".
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) days after the official declaration of vacancy by the Constitutional court.
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:
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.
|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%|
|Total (turnout 70.54%)||17,931,238|
|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%|
|Nzanga Mobutu||Union of Mobutuist Democrats||285,273||1.57%|
|Jean Andeka||Alliance of Congolese Nationalist Believers||128.820||0.71%|
|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%|