Democratic Republic of Congo’s constitutional court on Tuesday swore in an electoral commission chief amid controversy over his nomination.
Denis Kadima takes over as President of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Together with his newly sworn in team, Kadima has the task of organizing the next elections by 2023.
The team was sworn in before the assembled Constitutional Court, the president of the institution, as well as, attorney general of the Republic.
Kadimas appointment has not been a unanimous decision, with religious groups – who are supposed to nominate CENI members by consensus disagreeing.
Six out of eight religious groups voted for Kadima with the Catholic Church and the largest Protestant group, the ECC, opposing it claiming, the nomination process was irregular.
Their argument is supported by opposition Members of Parliament who did not endorse him during the approval of his nomination on October 16.
Three members expected to represent the opposition have not yet been appointed but Tshisekedi said he was optimistic that they would join the team.
The appointment of Kadima, who hails from the same province as the president, could strengthen Tshisekedi’s hand in the next election, but may also undermine perception of the poll’s integrity and fracture the ruling Sacred Union coalition, political analysts say.
Some coalition partners have joined opposition and religious groups in accusing Tshisekedi of forcing through Kadima’s candidacy.
Leaders from the Catholic and Protestant churches, the most respected officials of Congo’s democracy, have accused Tshisekedi of oppressive drift and called supporters to join a demonstration on Nov. 6.