Elections in Congo were scheduled for later this month but have been delayed by the electoral commission, which cited financial and logistical constraints. Most of the country’ opposition parties have boycotted government talks and continue to call for Kabila to step down. In September, more than 50 people died when security forces clashed with protesters calling for Kabila to leave office in December.
Badibanga, a former adviser to Rassemblement and Union for Democracy and Social Progress leader Etienne Tshisekedi, was excluded from the UDPS in 2012, along with other party members, for taking up his seat in parliament against Tshisekedi’s wishes.
“Congo has a very complex political process ahead of it, which will take a very skilled prime minister with a lot of experience,” said Kris Berwouts, an independent Congo analyst.
The new premier also faces a deteriorating economic situation. Low prices for copper, oil and other key exports in the past 18 months has forced Congo to slash its 2016 growth target to 4.3 percent from 9 percent and cut spending by 22 per cent in May.
“By appointing Badibanga, Kabila proves that he is not really interested in elections,” Berwouts said in an e-mailed response to questions. “He only wants to avoid further sanctions and decrease the potential for street violence on Dec. 19.”