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Cablegate: Congolese Opposition Playing Role in National

VZCZCXRO3040
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0426 1021723
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121723Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5967
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000426

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM CG
SUBJECT: CONGOLESE OPPOSITION PLAYING ROLE IN NATIONAL
ASSEMBLY

REF: A. KINSHASA 386

B. KINSHASA 343

1. (SBU) Summary: Opposition deputies in the DRC's National
Assembly are assuming some important leadership roles. An
RCD-N opposition member leads the special commission
investigating the Angola border question, opposition deputies
have formed three of the twelve formal political groups, and
opposition deputies will fill key leadership positions in the
Assembly's permanent committees. End summary.

2. (SBU) The composition of the Assembly's seven permanent
committees and one special committee was announced on April
11. The committees, each of which includes members of all
parties represented in the Assembly, will examine and
deliberate matters and legislation referred to them by the
entire Assembly. Permanent committees include: political,
administrative, and judicial; economic and financial; social
and cultural; external relations; defense and security;
environment and natural resources; infrastructure and
territorial management; and the special "Comite des Sages"
(Wise Men's Committee), which will handle internal questions
related to conduct and ethics. Opposition leaders will head
two of them, and opposition figures will be included in other
leadership roles. Delly Sesanga, of Jean-Pierre Bemba's
Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), was named
president of the important political, legal, and
administrative committee, and Helene Ndombe Sita, of the
opposition Christian Democrats (CD), was appointed president
of the social and cultural committee.

3. (SBU) The Assembly political groups also reflect the
engagement of opposition politicians. The Assembly's
internal rules require that each delegate be a member of a
political group ("organes consultatifs"). Though the rules
do not define their roles, the groups are expected to advance
the common political ideologies and legislative agendas of
their members. Twelve groups have been certified, with nine
reflecting majority AMP alignment and three representing
members of the opposition.

4. (SBU) The opposition is also well represented in the two
special commissions formed to date, including the one
currently investigating the border dispute with Angola in
Bandundu province. The head of that commission is Roger
Lumbala, a member of RCD-N (ref B).

5. (SBU) Comment: National Assembly President Vital Kamerhe
has reached out to those outside of his AMP majority,
providing leadership roles to them -- even though not
constitutionally bound to do so. Active opposition
participation in the Assembly is a positive sign, especially
in light of recent allegations (related to the conflict with
Senator and former Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba) that the
Kabila government has sought to exclude the opposition from
the political scene. End comment.
MEECE

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