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DRC voters frustrated barely 24 hours to delayed polls

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Frustration mounts in the Democratic Republic of Congo following repeated election delays despite the electoral body’s confirmation that the elections will be held on Sunday, December 30.

CENI said Thursday that voting materials would continue to be distributed in Kinshasa on Saturday after a 7-day delay over fire at a CENI depot destroying 80 percent of the capital\s voting machines and ballots.

Reverend Abraham is head of the observer mission SYMOCEL (The Synergy of Citizen Observer Missions of the Elections).

“We are not worried, the observer mission is not here to develop worries, but we have concerns. We would like to know how the voters will get on, especially in view of the fact that the number of polling stations were reduced so the voters have been re-oriented. The CENI (the National Electoral Commission) says the polling stations have not changed and that means the voters will go to the same polling stations with reduced offices. That could partially resolve the problem but how to direct the observers to find the right polling stations will be an issue”, he said.

In the streets of Kinshasa, voters are skeptical.

‘There wont be any. They just need to tell us the truth, there won’t be any (elections). They need to tell the truth. We are not people you can just trick and fool. They need to tell the truth. How can it be that Kinshasa votes and then in Beni and over there they are not voting?”, Kinshasa resident, Conde queried.

“I think the CENI needs to revise a few things, they need to make some decisions, very quickly, so that we don’t have surprises for example – chaos and trouble, because when there are less polling stations people are going to go everywhere to find out how to vote and it’s going to annoy people”, Maurice Lopa said.

Reuters said only 60 percent of election materials have been distributed to balloting stations citing three foreign diplomatic sources who spoke on anonymity.

The opposition accuses authorities of trying to rig the vote to favor Kabila’s preferred candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani. The government denies this.


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