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DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

DRC gets a coalition government, seven months late

Now he has a government! Felix Tshisekedi, president of the DRC.
Now he has a government! Felix Tshisekedi, president of the DRC. STRINGER / AFP

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have announced a coalition government, seven months after the inauguration of new President Felix Tshisekedi.

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Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga made the announcement, saying "the government is finally here".

The power-sharing agreement will see 23 members of the executive drawn from Tshisekedi's Direction for Change party, and the remaining 42 from former president Joseph Kabila's Common Front for Congo.

Kabila presided over the DRC for 18 years and still commands widespread support.

Forming the coalition had taken time as both sides had to "remove everything that could be an obstacle to the functioning of the government", according to Ilunga.

The executive will have a female vice prime minister, minister for foreign affairs and minister for planning, Ilunga said.

Around three-quarters of members will be serving in government for the first time, he added, hailing this as an "important innovation".

Felix Tshisekedi emerged victorious in elections that marked the Democratic Republic of Congo's first peaceful transition of power since independence from Belgium in 1960.

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