In a previous post, I reported the resignation of Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His successor has yet to be appointed and the situation has sparked a fierce constitutional and political debate.
If you read French, then the constitutional debate is summed up on the Constitution en Afrique site. Basically, Article 78 of the 2006 constitution states that the President ends the PM’s function when the PM presents the resignation of the government. However, Prime Minister Gizenga presented only his resignation and not the resignation of his government. Therefore, arguably, he acted unconstitutionally.
The political debate is quite different. President Kabila has hinted that he will appoint a PM from his own AMP party. However, on 30 September 2006 the AMP signed an agreement with Gizenga’s PALU party whereby PALU would hold the office of PM throughout the term of the legislature. Therefore, there is a concern that President Kabila is reneging on the deal. Obviously, this eventuality risks bringing about the standard political consequences, but it might also threaten the delicate regional and ethnic balance that has operated since late 2006.