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DRC presidential election 2011

Voting delayed in Democratic Republic of Congo elections

Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly

Voting started late on Monday at some polling stations in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential elections, despite assurances from the electoral commission that all would be ready on time.

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In Kinshasa’s south eastern Kimbanseke commune, one polling station had around 300 people waiting outside, according to an RFI witness. Voting had not started at 07:45 local time, though it was supposed to begin at 06:00.

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In the centre of the capital, a source from an international observation mission told RFI that voting got underway at 07:15, with the electoral commission’s volunteers at the station the first to cast their vote.

At a polling site in Barumbu in the north of Kinshasa, voting had not begun at 07:00 - an hour after it was due to get underway.

Kinshasa had been one of the areas of greatest concern for the country’s electoral commission in terms of the distribution of voting materials. On Sunday the commission’s chief Daniel Ngoy Mulunda said he was “99 per cent” sure everything would be ready in time.

In Lumbumbashi, Katanga province, RFI’s Juliette Rengeval reported at 09:00 local time that there were still delays at some polling stations. In an incident overnight two electoral commission vehicles containing ballot papers were burnt at around 03:00 local time at a police station in the centre of the city.

Slideshow: DRC goes to the polls
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“There is a lot of agitation,” Rengeval said. “This incident reinforced the feeling among the population that this election is marred with fraud,” she added.

Provisional results are due on 6 December.

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