Protesters in Kinshasa have rejected last month’s election of a new voting leader by President Felix Tshisekedi.
Thousands of people have marched on the streets of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in protest of President Felix Tshisekedi’s decision to appoint a close ally to lead the country’s electoral commission.
Tshisekedi’s actions last month were met with opposition by political parties as well as by Catholic and Protestant clergy.
Opponents say Denis Kadima, the new head of the CENI (National Independent Electoral Commission), is corrupt and very close to the President.
“This is our country, and no one can stop us from claiming our rights,” a Kinshasa protester told Al Jazeera.
“We are rejecting a politically motivated election committee. We want things to change in this country, ”he added.
Protesters also carried placards with slogans such as, “Enough” and “No to political CENI”. “We want teachers to be paid,” said one, after a strike in the education sector.
Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb, in describing the protests, described the protests as “outraged”.
“The election of a new electoral committee is determined by [protesters] “Political neutrality … and bias against President Felix Tshisekedi,” said Webb.
“He said all of this is part of the process by which Tshisekedi directs all major corporations before the election,” he said.
The next presidential election is set for December 2023.
Tshisekedi was elected in a by-election that was delayed in December 2018, which was peaceful but marred by fraud charges. He says he wants to run again.
Some protesters have called for the return of former President Joseph Kabila, who ruled the DRC for 18 years before Tshisekedi took office in January 2019.
“We need to make it clear if the President thinks he is going to lead this country … [a] fake Electoral Commission in 2023, then we will see what happens. We don’t want him anymore, he has failed to lead, ”he said.
Former parliamentary speaker Aubin Minaku, former Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala and former Prime Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary were present at the rally.