DRC’s Growing Political Disengagement
Six months ago, a new government was put into place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the breakup of the coalition between President Félix Tshisekedi and his predecessor, Joseph Kabila. How do Congolese perceive the Sama Lukonde government today? How do people view the new government’s first measures, including the creation of a “state of siege” in North Kivu and Ituri, as well as the work of parliament?
The Congo Research Group and the Bureau d'études, de recherche et de consulting international (BERCI) reveal a growing political disengagement in the DRC through a new polling report, “DRC’s Growing Political Disengagement: A Loss of Confidence and the Risk of Low Voter Turnout." This is reflected in a significant decline in the popularity of all political leaders and most opposition figures.
For example, in just six months, Prime Minister Jean-Christophe Sama Lukonde's approval ratings has dropped from 66 percent to 48 percent. But the Prime Minister remains the most popular of all political actors, behind Félix Tshisekedi. The perception of the government's actions and initial measures undoubtedly has had an influence on the relative popularity of the head of state and his Prime Minister. For example, the state of siege is seen as a good thing by 63% of respondents across the DRC, while this exceptional measure remains unpopular in the east.
Additionally, the work done by the country’s parliament has received low marks: 71% of Congolese surveyed believe that elected officials work for their own personal interests. Moreover, for 27% of them, the parliament is the most corrupt Congolese public institution, ahead of the government, the courts, the army, the police, and the presidency. Public opinion also remains critical of the government's anti-corruption policy. Finally, another sign of DRC’s growing political disengagement is the risk of low voter turnout in the upcoming elections, with only 40 percent of Congolese surveyed saying they will vote in 2023. This compares to 97 percent in December 2018 and 67 percent in March 2021.
[ Read the full paper: DRC’s Growing Political Disengagement ]