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History, The Mobutu Years

Leopoldville, Kisangani, Mobutu, presidential form of government, Stanleyville

A fragile coalition organized by Prime Minister Tshombe won parliamentary elections in early 1965, but shortly thereafter Kasavubu ousted Tshombe, who was believed to be plotting to oust him. In November 1965 Mobutu again intervened, overthrowing Kasavubu, installing himself as president for five years, and canceling elections scheduled for the next year. On October 26, 1966, Mobutu dismissed the prime minister and established a presidential form of government. This change was formalized by a new constitution adopted in 1967. In his first years as president, Mobutu brought political stability to the country, although there were a number of revolts, and students occasionally protested his dictatorial rule. Some foreign-owned mining firms were nationalized, and in 1966 the European names of cities were replaced with African ones (Leopoldville became Kinshasa; Stanleyville, Kisangani; and Elizabethville, Lubumbashi).

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Article key phrases:

Leopoldville, Kisangani, Mobutu, presidential form of government, Stanleyville, parliamentary elections, Lubumbashi, Elizabethville, political stability, new constitution, Kinshasa, students, country, change, years


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