The DRC is at a crossroads. Having failed to carry out elections by the end of 2016, as required by the constitution, the government engaged in two separate rounds of negotiations, the first under the auspices of the African Union and the second brokered by the Catholic Church, leading to the New Year’s Eve agreement. Although this latter agreement has been welcomed by regional and national actors, its implementation has been stalled due to disagreements over the control of the transitional government. On April 7, 2017 these tensions were further exacerbated by the nomination of a new prime minister, Bruno Tshibala, without the support of the main opposition coalition.
In order to assess public opinion at this critical juncture, the Congo Research Group (CRG) at the New York University (NYU) and the Bureau d’Études, de Recherches, et Consulting International (BERCI) conducted a nationally representative poll in February and April 2017. The report, including the poll results and analysis. can be found here.
The poll supports the following conclusions:
- A clear majority of Congolese supports the New Year’s Eve agreement and believes the ruling coalition is to blame for the current political impasse.
- However, public opinion is evenly split in its support for the nomination of Bruno Tshibala as prime minister.
- Moise Katumbi continues to be the most popular opposition politician, but if free elections are held, more traditional opposition parties––the UDPS, MLC, and UNC––would dominate parliament.
- No one opposition politician has emerged to fill the void left by Etienne Tshisekedi.
- The general political mood in the country is gloomy, with a majority expecting further political impasse and strife in the near future.