THE ELDER TSHISEKEDI
Etienne Tshisekedi, who died in February 2017, was the main opponent of the late Mobutu Sese Seko in the then Zaire. He later agreed to work with Mobutu and became Prime Minister in 1997, at a time the Zairean leader was under pressure from Western powers and militia groups in the east led by Laurent Desire Kabila — the outgoing president’s father — to allow multiparty democracy. In 2011, Tshisekedi rejected the results where Joseph Kabila had been declared the winner. He later declared himself the president, resulting in a political standoff for almost one year. Later, the late Tshisekedi agreed to work with President Kabila in an arrangement where he was set to take the top post in a transitional council, while President Kabila was to leave power in 2017 and not run for a third term. After the 2016 elections failed, President Kabila ruled under a coalition in which seven opposition parties joined his People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy and with Bruno Tshibala as Prime Minister.