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Joseph Kabila has been President of The Democratic Republic Of Congo since January 2001. He took office ten days after the assassination of his father, President Laurent-Desire Kabila. He was elected as President in 2006. In 2011, he was re-elected for a second term. Kabila was largely raised and educated in Tanzania. He fought as part of the rebel forces that helped his father depose Pres. Mabuto Sese Seko of Zaire in 1997. Laurent Kabila then assumed the presidency and restored the country’s former name, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Joseph was sent to China for additional military training. Upon his return, he became head of the country’s armed forces.

In 2002 Joseph Kabila signed a peace agreement in South Africa, which ended the second Congo war. The deal made Kabila President & the country’s two main rebel groups vice presidents. In 2004 Kabila survived 2 coups attempts orchestrated by Major General Lenge, a Major in the Special Presidential Security Group, the branch of the Congolese military in charge of Presidential security.

A partial referendum held in December 2005 approved a new constitution, and a Presidential election  was held on 30 July 2006. The new constitution lowered the minimum age of presidential candidates from 35 to 30; Kabila turned 35 shortly before the election. In March 2006, he registered as an independent candidate, although Kabila registered as an independent, he is the founder of the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD), which chose him as their candidate to the election. The new constitution stipulated that a debate be held between the two remaining candidates for the presidency, no debates took place and this was declared by many as unconstitutional.

An election was held in 2011 according to widely disputed provisional results announced on 20 August Kabila won 45% of the vote; his main opponent, vice-president and former rebel leader Jean Pierre Bemba, won 20%. The irregularities surrounding the elections results prompted a run-off vote between Kabila and Bemba which was held on 29 October. On 15 November, the electoral commission announced the official results and Kabila was declared the winner, with 58.05% of the vote.  In December 2011, Kabila was re-elected for a second term as president. After the announcement of the results on 9 December, there was violent unrest in Kinshasa.

In May 2016 Moise Katumbi, the former governor of the Katanga region & now outspoken opposition figure announced that he was running for president in an election supposed to be held at the end of 2016. Soon after announcing his presidential bid police surrounded his home & threatened to arrest him. Katumbi who was sentenced to 3 years in jail for selling a house that wasn’t his, has since then fled the country fearing persecution by Kabila.

Although an election is supposed to be held in the DRC in November 2016, the Congolese constitutional court ruled that if there is no election in November Kabila can stay in power. President Kabila has indicated that there probably will be no election because there is no money to organize an election.