Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Samy Badibanga has been named prime minister on Thursday as part of a power-sharing deal signed in October by the opposition and government.

Badibanga’s appointment was announced on state television three days after the resignation of former Prime Minister Augustin Matata to allow the implementation of the national dialogue framework agreement.

Badibanga’s nomination to head the new government of national unity came as a surprise as another opposition leader Vital Kamerhe, a former Kabila ally, had been widely expected to take up the post.

The power-sharing agreement was signed in October by the ruling party and some opposition parties endorsing the 2018 presidential election date proposed by the electoral commission and for President Joseph Kabila to remain in office till then.

The political agreement signed under the watch of the African Union-appointed facilitator Edem Kodjo, was endorsed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who called for a “peaceful transition for peaceful elections.”

However, the agreement was opposed by the major opposition coalition which described it as non-inclusive and promised to protest till Kabila steps down when his mandate originally ends in December.