The Democratic of Congo (DRC) has held its gubernatorial elections today.
The country held indirect polls for governors and deputy governors in 21 of the country’s 26 provinces after being postponed following the creation of new states.
Former members of provincial assemblies will decide who among 66 candidates vying for gubernatorial slots will lead each province.
Voting for governors and vice-governors was originally slated for October 2015 but delayed for lack of funds according to the government. But after receiving funding, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced they will hold the gubernatorial ballot which is one of a series of several elections scheduled to take place.
DR Congo’s electoral board was initially scheduled to begin a round of voting between October 2015 and November 2016, finishing off with polls for a new president. However, the vast mineral-rich nation still lacks a revised election calendar.
Meanwhile, the opposition has relayed fears that the postponement of several elections by the government is a move by President Joseph Kabila to seek yet another term in office.
Kabila who has ruled the Central African country since 2001 has not made his intentions clear as to whether he will stand for a third term in office despite the constitution hindering him from doing so.
Kabila came into power in after the death of his father Laurent Kabila and has been elected in two elections, once in 2006 and in 2011.
Last year at least 40 people died during protests over proposed amendments to the country’s electoral code. Months later the government said that presidential elections should be delayed arguing that the country is ill prepared for elections.
Critics argue that the current government has failed to bring stability in the country especially in Eastern Congo.