Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has named a former member of the largest opposition party as his prime minister.
A statement from the presidency named Bruno Tshibala as the prime minister of a new transitional government that is meant to organise a presidential election by the end of this year.
Analysts believe that the move will further divide Kabila’s opponents after talks to negotiate his exit from power broke down last week.
Opponents of Kabila, who has ruled Congo since his father’s assassination in 2001, suspect he intends to repeatedly delay elections until he can organise a referendum to let himself stand for a third term, as his counterparts in neighbouring Congo Republic and Rwanda have done, Reuters reports.
Kabila denies those charges, saying the election delays are due to challenges registering millions of voters and budgetary constraints.
Tshibala’s nomination escalates tensions ahead of a mass march Monday in the capital Kinshasa organized by his former party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress.
In office Tshibala will be confronted with security and economic tests. Congo’s franc currency has lost nearly half its value since last year and militia violence has worsened across the country in the wake of Kabila’s decision to stay in power.