The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is on a political knife-edge after President Joseph Kabila stayed in power on Tuesday (20 December) despite the expiration of his last constitutional term in office, but his administration announced a new government in an apparent effort at appeasing opposition criticism.
Presidential elections were scheduled for November 2016 but will not now take place until April 2018 for logistical reasons, until when a court ruling earlier stated that Kabila should stay on in a move critics claim to be violation of the Constitution.
Despite critics accusing Kabila of holding on to power by letting his term run out and manipulating the judiciary, Kabila last month appointed opposition politician Samy Badibanga as prime minister, under a controversial power-sharing deal agreed earlier under a so-called "national dialogue".
Badibanga published his new 67 member interim government at 23.55pm on state TV – five minutes before Kabila's official mandate ended on 19 December at midnight. The number of posts was increased from 47 to 67.
"The government of Badibanga came out nightly, while the Congolese demanded the departure of Joseph Kabila with whistles," is how local journalist Franck Ngonga described the announcement. Here are the top posts under Badibanga's extended interim government – many of them went to opposition members.
Deputy Prime Ministers
- Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration: She Okitundu
- Interior: Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari
- Transport and Communication: José Makila
Ministers of State
- Justice and Attorney General: Alexis Thambwe Mwamba
- Budget: Kangudia Mbayi Pierre
- National Economy: Bahati Lukwebo:
- Planning: Jean Lucien Bussa:
- Employment, Labour and Social Security: Lambert Matuku
- Decentralisation and Institutional Reform: Azarias Rubrewa
- Public Service: Michel Bongongo Ikoli
- National Defense, Veterans and Reinsertion: Crispin Atama Tabe
- Finance: Henri Yav Mulang
- Communication and media: Lambert Mende
- Posts, telecommunications and ICT: Ami Ambatombe Nyongolo
- Portfolio: Wivine Mumba Matipa
- Relations with Parliament: Justin Bitakwira
- Land Affairs: Félix Kabange Numbi
- Infrastructure, Public Works and Reconstruction: Thomas Luhaka
- Urban Planning and Habitat: Joseph Kokonyangi
- Mines: Martin Kabwelulu
- Hydrocarbons: Aimé Ngoy Mukena
- Industry: Marcel Ilunga Lehu
- Energy and water resources: Pierre Anatole Matusila
- Tourism: André Moke Sanza
- Small and medium-sized enterprises: Eugène Serufuli Ngayabaseka
- Development cooperation: Clement Kanku Bukasa
- Foreign Trade: Boji Sangara Bamanyirue Aimé
- Agriculture: Patrick Mayombe Mumbioko
- Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education: Gaston Musemena
- Gender, child and family: Marie Louise Mwange
- Social affairs, solidarity and humanitarian action: Paluku Kisaka Yereyere
- Sports: Willy Bakonga
- Environment and sustainable development: Atis Kabongo Kalonji
- University Higher Education: Steves Mbikayi Mabuluki
- Vocational training, trades and crafts: Guy Mikulu Pombo
- Scientific Research: Bamboka Lobendi
- Rural Development: Martine Ntumba Bukasa
- Human Rights: Marie Ange Mushobueka
- Health: Ilunga Kalenga
- Youth and Initiation to New Citizenship: Maguy Kiala Bolenga
- Fisheries and Livestock: Jean Marie Bulambo Kilosho
- Customary Affairs: Venant Tshipasa Vangi
- Cultures and Arts: Sylvain Maurice Masheke
- Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister: Fidèle Ntingu Bayi
Badibanga's announcement came under criticism, from both opposition ranks and ordinary citizens.
"The publication of Badibanga's government makes me fear an escalation. Let us all act for compromise and beware of extremists," Juvenal Muanda, general secretary of the doctors union (SYMECO), said.
Congolese political analyst, Ricky Mongbondo summarised: "Samy Badibanga and his government chose the wrong side of the story. We will never forgive them."