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Congo government announced eight months after Tshisekedi won December vote

Congo government announced eight months after Tshisekedi won December vote
FILE PHOTO: Democratic Republic of Congo's outgoing President Joseph Kabila and his successor Felix Tshisekedi take part in the latter's inauguration ceremony in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo January 24, 2019. REUTERS/ Olivia Acland -
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Olivia Acland(Reuters)
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KINSHASA (Reuters) – Congo’s prime minister announced a new government on Monday, eight months after President Felix Tshisekedi won an election, with around two thirds of posts going to allies of former president Joseph Kabila.

In the long-delayed election last December, Tshisekedi defeated a candidate officially backed by Kabila, whose own term limit was up, though opposition politicians said the result was rigged in a secret deal between Kabila’s and Tshisekedi’s camps.

They said the deal involved Kabila officially stepping down but maintaining control, a charge they both denied.

The cabinet list released by Prime Minister Illunga Illunkamba on Monday consisted mostly of people with little or no government experience.

The mining portfolio went to Willy Samsoni, a former mines minister in the local government of Haut Katanga province, while Democratic Republic of Congo’s former director general of taxes Sele Yalaghuli was named finance minister.

Ngoy Mukena, a close Kabila ally, was made defence minister.

Tshisekedi named Ilukamba, another close Kabila ally with years of government experience and previously the head of Congo’s national railway company, as prime minister in May.

But negotiations over other government posts had been stalled since.

As well as Kabila retaining outsized influence over various security agencies, his coalition won about 70 percent of seats in the lower house of parliament and an overwhelming majority of provincial assembly seats in elections also held on Dec. 30.

(Reporting by Stanys Bujakera; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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