Kamerhe elected speaker of DR Congo lower house -Xinhua

Kamerhe elected speaker of DR Congo lower house

Source: Xinhua| 2024-05-23 05:00:45|Editor: huaxia

KINSHASA, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Vital Kamerhe, deputy prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was on Wednesday elected president of the National Assembly, the country's lower house of parliament.

Kamerhe won 371 of the 407 votes cast.

According to the Congolese army, Kamerhe was one of the targets of a failed coup attempt in the Central African country on Sunday.

Kamerhe, 65, was appointed as deputy prime minister and minister of national economy last year.

His residence was raided by a group of armed men early Sunday in the coup attempt, which was "nipped in the bud" by defense forces, as announced by DRC military spokesperson Sylvain Ekenge.

Voting for the speaker of the lower house was originally scheduled for May 18 but was postponed last Friday.

In the general elections held in December 2023, President Felix Tshisekedi was re-elected for a second term, as the Sacred Union, a parliamentary coalition composed of Tshisekedi's Union of Democracy and Social Progress party and its allied parties, won the majority of seats at the 500-member National Assembly.

However, the lower house had remained paralyzed due to the absence of a leadership bureau, which includes posts such as president, first vice-president and second vice-president.

In the voting on Wednesday, Kamerhe, who leads the Union for the Congolese Nation, was the sole candidate for president, and Christophe Mboso, the outgoing president, ran instead for second vice-president.

The election for parliament speaker was postponed following a meeting between Tshisekedi and 406 lawmakers from the Sacred Union. No reason was given for the postponement, but local media attributed it to disagreements over the roster of candidates from the Sacred Union.

"I will not hesitate to dissolve the National Assembly and send everyone to new elections if these bad practices persist," Tshisekedi said at the meeting last Friday, according to a statement issued by his office.

More than four months after Tshisekedi was sworn in for a second term, the DRC has yet to form a new government.

In early April, Tshisekedi named Judith Tuluka Suminwa as the new prime minister. Tuluka was also a target of the failed coup attempt, but the putschists failed to "identify" her residence.

According to the DRC Constitution, a new government takes office only after the lower house approves the new prime minister's national program with an absolute majority.