The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (French: Président de la République démocratique du Congo, Swahili: Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo, Lingala: Mokonzi wa Republíki ya Kongó Demokratíki), is the head of state of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
|President of the|
Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Président de la République démocratique du Congo (French)|
Rais wa Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo (Swahili)
Mokonzi wa Republíki ya Kongó Demokratíki (Lingala)
|Type||Head of state|
|Residence||Palais de la Nation, Kinshasa|
|Term length||5 years,|
|Formation||30 June 1960|
|First holder||Joseph Kasavubu|
|Salary||51,500 USD annually|
|Website||Official website of the President of the DRC|
The position of president in the DRC has existed since the first constitution – known as The Fundamental Law – of 1960. However the powers of this position have varied over the years, from a limited shared role in the executive branch, with a prime minister, to a full-blown dictatorship. Under the current constitution, the President exists as the highest institution in a semi-presidential republic. The president is protected by the Republican Guard.
The constitutional mandate of the then president, Joseph Kabila, was due to expire on 20 December 2016 but was initially extended by him until the end of 2017 and he continued to remain in post until a presidential election was held in December 2018 when Félix Tshisekedi was elected and took office on 24 January 2019.
The semi-presidential system established by the constitution is largely borrowed from the French constitution. Although it is the prime minister and parliament that oversee much of the nation's actual lawmaking, the president wields significant influence, both formally and from constitutional convention. The president holds the nation's most senior office, and outranks all other politicians.
Perhaps the president's greatest power is his or her ability to choose the prime minister. However, the President must nominate the prime minister from among the parliamentary majority after consultation with the parliamentary majority, if an obvious majority exists, and if it does not exist, must nominate a prime minister who has a once renewable 30 day exploratory mandate to form a coalition. The prime minister and cabinet must present their plan of action to the National Assembly, which must approve the government and the plan of action by an absolute majority. Only the National Assembly has the power to dismiss the Prime Minister's government.
- When the majority of the Assembly has opposite political views to that of the president, this leads to political cohabitation. In that case, the president's power is diminished, since much of the de facto power relies on a supportive prime minister and National Assembly, and is not directly attributed to the post of president. Still, the constitutional convention is that the president directs foreign policy, though he must work on that matter with the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- When the majority of the Assembly sides with him, the President can take a more active role and may, in effect, direct government policy. The prime minister is often a mere "fuse" – and can be replaced if the administration becomes unpopular.
Among the formal powers of the president:
- The president ensures respect of the constitution and ensures the proper functioning of the public authorities and institutions as well as the continuity of the State. He guarantees the independence, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of the nation and ensures the observance of international treaties.
- The president appoints the Prime Minister and, acting on the advice of the latter, appoints and removes the other members of the government.
- The president convokes and presides at meetings of the Council of Ministers, promulgates the laws, and issues ordinances
- The president invests the elected Governors and Vice-Governors of the Provinces with their powers.
- The president appoints, suspends, and removes, on the proposal of the government and after deliberation by the Council of Ministers:
- Ambassadors and other diplomatic personnel;
- Officers of the armed forces and national police, after hearing the opinion of the High Defense Council;
- The general chief of staff, the chiefs of staff and the commanders of the main branches of the armed forces, after hearing the opinion of the High Defense Council;
- High-ranking civil servants;
- Persons in charge of public services and establishments;
- Representatives of the State (other than auditors) in public enterprises;
- Judges and public prosecutors on the proposal of the High Council of the Judiciary.
- The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and chairs the High Defense Council.
- The president confers national honors.
- The president may declare a state of emergency or a state of siege "When grave circumstances constitute a present threat to the independence or the integrity of the national territory or when they provoke the disruption of the proper functioning of the institutions."
- The president may declare war with the authorization of both chambers of parliament, after deliberation by the Council of Ministers, and after hearing the opinion of the High Defense Council.
- The President may grant pardons or commute or reduce sentences.
- The President appoints and accredits ambassadors to foreign countries and international organizations, and receives ambassadors accredited to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- The President defines national policy in coordination with the government and is responsible, in cooperation with the government, for defense, security, and foreign affairs.
- The president has a very limited form of suspensive veto: when presented with a law, he or she can request another reading of it by parliament, but only once per law.
Article 72 of the Congolese constitution states that the President must be a natural-born citizen – or more accurately: French: citoyen d'origine – of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and at least 30 years of age. Additionally, the President must be free of any legal constraints on their civil and political rights.
Article 10 of the same constitution defines citoyen d'origine as : "anyone belonging to the ethnic groups whose persons and territory constituted what became the Congo (currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo), at independence".
Articles 75 and 76 of the constitution state that upon the death or resignation of the President, the vacancy of the position is declared by the Constitutional court. The President of the Senate then becomes interim president.
The Independent Electoral Commission has to organize elections between sixty (60) and ninety (90) days after the official declaration of vacancy by the Constitutional court.
The official office of the president is the Palais de la Nation (Palace of the Nation) in Kinshasa.The official residence of the president is the Camp Tshatshi Palace in Kinshasa, although it has not been used since it was looted in 1997. Other presidential residences include:
Under the 2006 constitution, the President is directly elected to a five-year term – renewable only once – by universal suffrage. The first President to have been elected under these provisions is Joseph Kabila, in the 2006 elections.
After the president is elected, he goes through a solemn investiture ceremony.
|Félix Tshisekedi||Union for Democracy and Social Progress||7,051,013||38.56|
|Martin Fayulu||Dynamic of Congolese Political Opposition||6,366,732||34.82|
|Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary||Independent||4,357,359||23.83|
|Radjabho Tebabho Soborabo||Congolese United for Reform||70,249||0.38|
|Vital Kamerhe||Union for the Congolese Nation||51,380||0.28|
|Pierre Honoré Kazadi Lukonda Ngube-Ngube||People's Front for Justice||44,019||0.24|
|Theodore Ngoy Ilunga wa Nsenga||Independent||43,697||0.24|
|Freddy Matungulu||Our Congo||33,273||0.18|
|Marie-Josée Ifoku||Alliance of Elites for a New Congo||27,313||0.15|
|Jean-Philibert Mabaya||Rainbow of Congo||26,907||0.15|
|Samy Badibanga||The Progressives||26,722||0.15|
|Alain Daniel Shekomba||Independent||26,611||0.15|
|Noel K Tshiani Muadiamvita||Independent||23,548||0.13|
|Yves Mpunga||Premier Political Force||18,976||0.10|
|Tryphon Kin-Kiey Mulumba||Independent||16,596||0.09|
|Gabriel Mokia Mandembo||Movement of Congolese Democrats||15,778||0.09|
|Sylvain Maurice Masheke||Independent||14,337||0.08|
|Source: African Union[a]|
- There is a difference of 3,999 between the reported number of valid votes (18,280,820) and the reported totals for each candidate.
- Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- "The highest and lowest paid African presidents - Business Daily". Business Daily.
- "20 dead in Congo unrest as Kabila clings on to power". IOL. South Africa. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 69 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 81 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 79 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 80 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 82 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 83 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 84 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 85 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 86 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 87 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 88 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 91 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006, article 137 Archived 5 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
- Constitution of the DRC