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DRC parliament approves President Tshisekedi’s pick for speaker

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Lawmakers in the Democratic Republic of Congo elected a speaker loyal to President Felix Tshisekedi Wednesday, after a string of moves to break his predecessor Joseph Kabila’s grip on the legislature.

Almost 400 of the 500 members supported Christophe Mboso, the National Assembly’s oldest member at 79, who left Kabila’s FCC party in December to rally behind Tshisekedi.

The election follows the ousting of former speaker Jeanine Mabunda three weeks ago and the resignation of prime minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba last Friday following a censure motion in parliament.

Both belonged to the camp of Kabila, who was succeeded two years ago by Tshisekedi but kept a grip on power via supporters in parliament.

On Tuesday, a similar censure motion was filed against Senate speaker and Kabila ally Alexis Thambwe Mwamba by a majority of the upper house’s members.

Tshisekedi’s renewed bid to oust Kabila’s camp from DR Congo’s institutions was launched on December 6, when he announced the end of a coalition with the former president’s supporters.