Insecurity Concerns Bring Lengthy Delays as Voting Commences in Congo-Kinshasa

According to BBC News, approximately 44 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have the opportunity to select their next president from a pool of 19 candidates.

In the capital city of Kinshasa and other cities, voters faced lengthy queues and delayed polling station openings of approximately two hours.

The delivery of ballot papers occurred at the last minute, highlighting the logistical challenges of this election.

In addition to choosing the president, voters are also electing parliamentary, provincial, and municipal representatives, with around 100,000 candidates participating.

To aid the distribution of voting materials to over 175,000 polling booths, the electoral commission enlisted the assistance of UN peacekeepers.

Leading up to the polls, concerns of insecurity overshadowed the eastern regions. Various armed groups are competing for control in different parts of the area.

Despite the presence of UN peacekeepers, an East African regional force, and Congolese soldiers, violence persists, resulting in the displacement of approximately seven million people. Many of these displaced individuals faced difficulties in registering to vote, leading to criticism of the registration process.

Furthermore, over 13,000 Congolese nationals in countries such as South Africa, France, the United States, Canada, and Belgium are also expected to vote, prioritizing their country’s future.

The provisional results are expected to be announced by the electoral commission on December 31.

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