* Resignation procedural after president’s re-election
* Concerns mounting over Kabila’s absence from public gaze
KINSHASA, March 6 (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s cabinet has resigned in a procedural move to allow President Joseph Kabila to form a new government following his re-election more than three months ago, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
The move signals a new government may be named imminently. However, a prolonged delay in announcing a new team could deepen investor concerns that Kabila is failing to address the mineral-rich country’s daunting economic and social challenges.
Kabila has not addressed the central African nation for over two months, pushing Kinshasa’s rumour mill into overdrive about what lies behind his low profile.
“The resignation of the government (will) allow the president to appoint the new government,” Lambert Mende, a spokesman for the outgoing government said. “(Kabila) is the only one to know when this will happen.”
The Nov. 28 elections were meant to showcase Congo’s progress since a 1998-2003 war that killed five million people, but instead his re-election was marred by deadly street violence that claimed at least 20 lives and allegations of fraud by international observers.
Kabila took 49 percent in the hotly-contested poll and his inauguration in December was a muted affair attended by dignitaries more relieved the bloodshed had not been greater than convinced by the election’s democratic credentials.
He came to power when his father, Laurent, was assassinated in 2001, and later won the country’s 2006 election. (Reporting by Jonny Hogg; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Ben Harding)