Congo opposition cries foul after presidential poll blighted by mishaps

Posted by News Express | 31 December 2018 | 478 times

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• Votes are counted at the Alfajiri Collage in Bukavu following election day in Congo. (AFP pic)

The main opposition camps in Congo’s presidential election on Sunday complained of widespread irregularities after a chaotic vote disrupted by long queues, broken voting machines and torrential rain.

Voting in the election to replace President Joseph Kabila, who is due to step down next month after 18 years in power, continued into the evening in some Kinshasa neighborhoods where polling had opened hours late due to an absence of voter rolls.

In other areas, election officials began counting ballots by torchlight, keeping count on classroom chalkboards. The first partial results are expected within the next two days.

 While voting was mostly peaceful across Democratic Republic of Congo, there were incidents of violence.

At a polling station in South Kivu province in eastern Congo, a police officer shot dead a young man after a dispute over alleged voting fraud. The surrounding crowd then beat the officer to death, a witness and a local politician said.

An election official was also killed in the altercation, the electoral commission (CENI) said later.

Elections are a rare event in Congo, which has been plagued by authoritarian rule, assassinations, coups and civil wars since independence from Belgium in 1960.

If Kabila, in power since his father’s assassination in 2001, steps down after the vote it will be the country’s first democratic transition.

However, any disputed outcome could lead to a security breakdown, particularly along Congo’s borders with Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, where dozens of armed militia are active.  (Reuters)


Source: News Express

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