Katumbi Leads Tshisekedi By 14 Points In Opinion Poll 18 Months Before DRC Polls

An opinion poll ahead of the 2023 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) elections gives opposition leader Moise Katumbi a 14 point lead ahead of the country’s leader President Felix Tshisekedi.

Katumbi’s favorability is measured at 43% while Tshisekedi is at 29%.

The poll was conducted by by Berci, the Congo Study Group (GEC) and Ebuteli. Two other political heavyweights in the DRC, Jean-Pierre Bemba and Martin Fayulu, also polled better than the incumbent.

Bemba, a former vice-president, represented a favorability rating at 39.68% while Fayulu posted 34.28%.

According to Le Congo Lebere, Katumbi’s popularity rating shows a drop of 16 points from the previous survey. The former Katanga governor a few months ago posted 59% favorability while the incumbent who dropped 25 points had 54%.

Experts have attributed the recent poll outcome to various factors. The poll was concentrated in the capital Kinshasa where Tshisekedi enjoys favorable support.

The drop in this poll of Katumbi is also probably the result of his current political position which is not appreciated by public opinion.

“The fact that Moïse Katumbi is both in the opposition and in the Sacred Union creates trouble among some of his supporters who have a very negative image of the head of state,” explains a political science professor attached at a Belgian university.

“We must [also] not overlook the fact that Mr. Katumbi has not to date announced his candidacy for the presidential election, unlike Mr. Tshisekedi. This plays negatively on his popularity rating and makes him lose points.”

Some, among the supporters of Moïse Katumbi, still doubt he will be a candidate in the presidential election next year.

There are suggestions that Katumbi will instead back Tshisekedi’s candidature next year.

Supporters of the former governor of Katanga are still delighted with the outcome of the poll because it was concentrated outside the opposition leader’s swahili speaking strongholds in the East, Southern and Central DRC where majority of the country’s voting population is located.


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