Rally for Democracy and Development
The Rally for Democracy and Development (Rassemblement pour la Démocratie et le Développement; RDD) is a political party in the Republic of the Congo. It has been one of the main participants in a coalition known as the African Socialist Movement-Congolese Progressive Party (MSA-PPC).
The RDD was founded in 1990 under the leadership of former Head of State Joachim Yhombi-Opango. In the June-July 1992 parliamentary election, the RDD won five seats in the National Assembly. Yhombi-Opango was the RDD's candidate in the August 1992 presidential election, placing sixth with 3.49% of the vote.
In the June 1993 parliamentary election, the party won six seats in the National Assembly, and it was part of the governing coalition of President Pascal Lissouba, with Yhombi-Opango serving as Prime Minister from 1993 to 1996. The RDD was loyal to Lissouba during the 1997 civil war, and when rebels loyal to Denis Sassou Nguesso captured Brazzaville in October 1997, Yhombi-Opango fled into exile. Saturnin Okabé served as Interim President of the RDD during Yhombi-Opango's 10 years in exile.
A dispute in the RDD leadership emerged in 2005. Yhombi-Opango asked the party leadership to approach Sassou Nguesso's Congolese Labour Party (PCT), but Okabé refused to do so; Yhombi-Opango reacted angrily to this refusal.
The party did not participate in the parliamentary election held on June 24 and August 5, 2007, and it currently holds no seats in the National Assembly. The party initially intended to participate, but later, in a statement on June 8, said that it would not because it did not believe the election would be free and fair.
An amnesty for Yhombi-Opango was approved in May 2007, and he returned from exile on August 10, 2008. At a meeting of the RDD Steering Committee on September 8, 2007, he reassumed the leadership of the party from Okabé and Secretary-General Martial Mathieu Kani. On this occasion, Yhombi-Opango announced his intention to reorganize the party and improve its position on the national political scene.
Along with the Pan-African Union for Social Democracy (UPADS) and the Union for Democracy and the Republic (UDR-Mwinda), the RDD formed the Alliance for the New Republic opposition coalition on May 11, 2007. Complaining that the 2007 parliamentary election and the 2008 local elections were "masquerades", this coalition withdrew from participation in national and local electoral commissions in August 2008. It wanted a new and independent electoral commission, in addition to an "all-inclusive national dialogue" prior to the 2009 presidential election.
On February 23, 2009, the formation of an alliance between the PCT and the RDD was announced. The parties agreed to present a single candidate in the 2009 presidential election, and the RDD agreed to join the government if their joint candidate (presumed to be Denis Sassou Nguesso) won the election.
- Political Parties of the World (6th edition, 2005), ed. Bogdan Szajkowski, page 140.
- IPU-PARLINE page on the 1992 parliamentary election.
- Xavier Bienvenu Kitsimbou, "LA DEMOCRATIE ET LES REALITES ETHNIQUES AU CONGO", University of Nancy II, October 26, 2001, pages 104–105 (French).
- Congo, Republic of the (ROC): Political parties.
- "Discorde à la tête du Rassemblement pour la démocratie et le développement", Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, June 6, 2005 (French).
- "Congo: ouverture de la campagne du premier tour des élections législatives", AFP, June 8, 2007 (French).
- "L'ex-président Yhombi-Opango de retour au Congo après dix ans d'exil", AFP, August 10, 2007 (French).
- Thierry Noungou, "Jacques Joachim Yhombi Opango annonce le retour sur la scène politique du Rassemblement pour la démocratie et le développement", Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, September 10, 2007 (French).
- "Trois partis politiques de l'opposition créent l'Alliance pour une nouvelle République", Les Dépêches de Brazzaville, May 11, 2007 (French).
- "Three Congolese opposition parties withdraw from electoral commission", African Press Agency, August 14, 2008.
- "Congolese parties forge alliance", AFP, February 23, 2009.