Africa Confidential published a good article last month on Kabila’s options for holding onto power after hitting his term limit in 2016. Key point:
Kabila’s advisors are now working on alternative scenarios: the ‘Putin option’ whereby Kabila would become Prime Minister under a largely symbolic president, after which he would be free to become president again. Then there is the Argentinian scenario: the late President Néstor Kirchner was succeeded by his wife, Cristina. Will Kabila try to manoeuvre Olive Lembe di Sita Kabila into power? It could have advantages. Like Aubin Minaku, who is from Bandundu, the President’s wife is from the west. She was born in Bas-Congo and that could help the presidential couple’s popularity in the west, including in Kinshasa. She would also ensure that power remains a family business.
It’s otherwise not clear which opposition politicians will have the strength (and finances) to challenge Kabila, especially since he’s stepped up his harrassment of prominent figures like Vital Kamerhe recently.