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Cablegate: South Kivu Assembly Elects New Governor

VZCZCXRO0357
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0315 0921721
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 011721Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7753
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0014
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK

UNCLAS KINSHASA 000315

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM CG
SUBJECT: SOUTH KIVU ASSEMBLY ELECTS NEW GOVERNOR

1. (SBU) Summary: The South Kivu provincial assembly elected Louis
Muderhwa governor March 21 following the censure, reinstatement, and
resignation of previous Governor Celestin Cibalonza. The support of
heavyweight national politicians was a critical factor in Muderhwa's
victory. End summary.

2. (U) South Kivu provincial deputies elected National Assembly
Deputy Louis Leonce Muderhwa, candidate of the pro-Kabila AMP, as
governor March 21. Muderhwa and Vice Governor-elect Jean Claude
Kibala received 33 of 36 possible votes. Independent candidate Rene
Kahukula received one vote while the third candidate, independent
Joseph Kuhanika, received none. Two ballots were ruled invalid due
to irregularities. A fourth candidate, Mwanza Amisi, withdrew the
day before the election, officially for personal reasons. The
Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) certified the election as
valid.

3. (U) The vote was scheduled to elect a replacement for Celestin
Cibalonza, who was removed in a no-confidence vote by the Provincial
Assembly in November 2007. Cibalonza, a longtime adviser to
President Kabila, had come under fire for mismanagement and failure
to improve South Kivu's security situation. Cibalonza appealed the
decision to the Supreme Court. It reinstated him in December 2007,
but he resigned February 10. A MONUC-Bukavu political affairs
officer told us the resignation this followed informal appeals to
Kabila by provincial deputies who feared Kabila would dissolve the
assembly if their standoff continued.

4. (SBU) According to a South Kivu tribal chief and an adviser to
National Assembly President Vital Kamerhe, Muderhawa's selection as
the official government candidate reflected internal rivalries in
the national AMP coalition. Both told us that Muderhwa's candidacy
was supported by Evariste Boshab and Augustin Katumba, respective
PPRD and AMP secretaries-general. Boshab and Katumba's support
forced Kamerhe's choice, National Assembly Deputy (and his
brother-in-law) Aime Boji, to withdraw from the race although he had
received the most votes in the PPRD's provincial selection process.
Provincial deputy Francois Rubota, who subsequently lined up the
support of 18 other colleagues, also withdrew from the race in the
face of Muderhwa's clear support from the national hierarchy.

5. (SBU) The CEI had rejected the applications of three other
candidates on procedural grounds. It ruled that two who claimed to
be independent candidates were in fact members of the AMP. The CEI
spokesman told us the third failed to resign his current post before
declaring his candidacy, in violation of constitutional
requirements.

6. (SBU) Biographical note: Louis Leonce Muderhwa Chirimwami, 45,
was born in Bukavu, South Kivu. A lawyer, he studied at the
University of Kinshasa before teaching law at Catholic University in
Bukavu. He served as vice-minister of mines during the Transition
before being elected to the National Assembly from Bukavu in July
2006.

GARVELINK

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