DR Congo Prime Minister Sama Lukonde resigns


Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde. PHOTO | REUTERS

Congolese Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde resigned on February 20 choosing, instead, to focus on parliamentary duties as an elected legislator.

He presented his resignation to President Félix Tshisekedi, according to an official communication from the presidency. 

Mr Sama Lukonde, 46, was in office for 3 years. He was appointed on February 15, 2021 to head the government following the break-up of the alliance between the coalition of former President Joseph Kabila and that of Félix Tshisekedi. 

Mr Lukonde’s resignation implies a dissolution of his government.

He was elected as a Member of Parliament, MPs, in the December 20, 2023 elections. He is stepping down as head of government in order to devote himself to his parliamentary duties.

It is a legal requirement in the Democratic Republic of Congo that serving ministers are not members of parliament, which means that one has to choose whether to remain a legislator or quit to remain in government.

A total of 39 Congolese government ministers were recently elected MPs. They will serve for the next 5 years. Earlier, the deputy prime minister in charge of the economy and the deputy prime minister in charge of the civil service had already tendered their resignations.

President Tshisekedi is preparing to form a new government to begin his second term.

Nonetheless, some of the resigning ministers will likely be part of the new team, given that they belong to the parliamentary majority, President Tshisekedi's coalition. They will have to resign from their positions as legislators.

Unlike his first term, when he was forced to share power with Joseph Kabila's coalition, this time Tshisekedi is not expected to face strong opposition. His majority in parliament is expected to be over 400 of the 500 seats in the national assembly.

His opponent Moïse Katumbi's party has barely twenty members, while Joseph Kabila's coalition boycotted the elections. Mr Martin Fayulu, who boycotted the elections, has no members of parliament. Mr Fayulu had asked his members to boycott the elections. He had to change his decision, but without making up for his delay in the legislative elections.