Support the Democratic Republic of Congo

2011 Election


The Democratic Republic of Congo has faced a complicated history of governments since it has become independent. NGOs have started working together to try to support the DRC through the elections. This will be the first time in the DRC's history when there will be two consecutive elections. They have a petition to call president Obama to send peace leaders to help with the election. For more information, visit this packet.

The three main contenders for the election are:
President Joseph Kabila
A married man of 39 and father of one daughter, Kabila spent most of his life 
in the military under the tutelage of his father. In the 1990’s he helped lead 
the Rwandan-backed campaign to topple Mobutu Sese Seko’s regime, leading 
a band of child soldiers, the Kadogos. Kabila has been at Congo’s helm since 
he took the place of his father in 2001. He speaks French and Swahili, and 
received broad public support in the 2006 election from the populous eastern 
Etienne Tshisekedi
A long time rival of Mobutu Sese Seko, and head of the largest opposition bloc 
in Congo, Tshisekedi has decided to spend his late 70s running for President, 
after asking his supporters to boycott the 2006 elections. He is widely regarded as honest and principled, but is not fond of public speaking, and currently 
leads a fractured opposition party. When he returned from medical treatment 
abroad in December, his supporters thronged the streets of Kinshasa. 
Vital Kamerhe 
Kamerhe grew up in eastern Congo in a family of 10, fathered by a loyal 
follower of Patrice Lumumba. Kamerhe speaks all of Congo’s national languages, and made his political debut as a member of Tshisekede’s party during the 1980’s. His speeches against the Mobutu regime attracted the wrath 
of the ruling elite, forcing him into hiding for two years. After finishing an 
economics degree, he reemerged as a leader of Kabila’s party, orchestrating 
his successful 2006 presidential campaign. The former allies had a public 
falling out in 2009 over the president’s controversial military alliance with Rwanda. Now the 51-year old is campaigning for Kabila’s job.