Congo: Electronic Voting Machines cause glitch in Sunday election
Apart from the early morning rains in parts of Congo which delayed people from coming out to vote, the electronic voting machines which were being used for the first time in Congo contributed substantially to the delay in the voting process.
The final result is expected be announced in a week’s time. Already, both the opposition and ruling candidates are laying claim to winning the election
Malfunctioning of the machines left people frustrated, said the BBC
The Sunday election is expected to bring the country’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960.
President Joseph Kabila is stepping down after 17 years in power. The election should have taken place two years ago but was repeatedly postponed because of logistical problems, officials said.
Protests had been reported in the three areas of Beni, Butembo and Yumbi where the electoral body had said the Sunday election would not hold.
Reports say Police fired tear gas at protesters angry that several opposition strongholds have been left out.
The opposition accuses the authorities of seeking to rig the ballot.
Electoral officials have postponed voting in three cities until March, citing insecurity and Ebola concerns.
But with the new president due to be sworn in next month, it appears the votes of more than a million people will be discounted.
In Goma, the main city in eastern DR Congo and also an opposition stronghold, crowds blocked a road in the Majengo neighbourhood and around the university, the BBC’s Gaius Kowene reports from the scene.
Anti-riot police were positioned at some street corners in Majengo, and protesters retreated after tear gas was fired, he adds.
Protests were also reported in Yumbi, Butembo while in Beni, soldiers fired tear gas to disperse protesters, Reuters news agency reports.