Congo opposition leader formally becomes candidate

AP News
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Posted: Sep 05, 2011 1:19 PM
Congo opposition leader formally becomes candidate

Leading opposition figure Etienne Tshisekedi has formally submitted his candidacy for Congo's upcoming presidential elections.

Tshisekedi on Monday was accompanied by nearly 1,000 supporters in the capital, Kinshasa, as he filed his candidacy for November's elections, making his first historic bid at the presidency since he formed the nation's first opposition party in 1982.

Tshisekedi returned to Congo in December after being treated for three years for an unspecified ailment in South Africa and Belgium, Congo's former colonizer.

Tshisekedi will face President Joseph Kabila who was first elected in 2006 in Congo's first democratic election. Kabila succeeded his father, who seized power in 1997 but was later assassinated.

The opposition parties could not decide on a communal candidate, which would have put more pressure on Kabila.