Saturday 19th January 2019

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  • DRC votes despite election challenges

    DRC-votes-despite-election-challenges

    Millions of Congolese have voted to elect a new president and legislators.

    Voting in the capital Kinshasa got off to a slow start due to an early morning downpour that stalled much of the election activity. But by 11 a.m. local time, there were visible queues at several polling centers in the capital.

    The incumbent Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, voted from the central Gombe Institute polling station, as did presidential candidates Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary and the opposition’s Martin Fayulu.

    DRC-votes-despite-election-challenges1

    Over 40 million voters were expected to make it to the polls. 

    But delays at polling stations in several areas left many frustrated, because of a lack of voting materials and voter lists, as well as failing electronic voting machines.

    Electoral officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) managed to extend voting time at stations where materials arrived late.

    However, opposition leaders have accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of deliberately blocking voters from taking part in an election.

    DRC-votes-despite-election-challenges2

    There was no voting in three major towns: Beni and Butembo in the east as well as Yumbi in the west, because of an ebola outbreak and ongoing instability.

    The vote for many Congolese is a significant step. There is hope it will be the first time the country has a peaceful transfer of power since its independence in 1960.

    Vote counting is expected to start next week.

    The INEC says it will announce the presidential results on January 15 and a new president will be sworn in three days later.

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