Voting Continues Amid Disruptions.. Counting Underway in Unaffected Polling Stations

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Elections persist in the DRC following numerous irregularities that marred Wednesday’s proceedings. Opposition figures, particularly some presidential candidates, are already calling for a reorganization of the entire electoral process.

In Kinshasa, the city’s main thoroughfares regain vitality, a stark contrast to the preceding day characterized by exhausting electoral operations. Both the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) agents and observers, witnesses, and even some voters extended their presence in polling stations well into the night.

Late Closure of Polling Stations

Several centers concluded voting operations late, while others have already commenced the process of tallying results in the presence of voters, witnesses, and observers who demonstrated resilience by staying in polling stations until late into the night. According to the Electoral Commission, approximately 70% of the total centers have reached this stage.

In certain electoral centers that did not open, especially in provinces like Sankuru and Equateur, electoral agents are under pressure from their superiors to initiate voting operations early on Thursday to avoid extending operations into Friday.

The objective is to expedite the subsequent stage, which is the announcement of results. The CENI remains confident, asserting that the pace will accelerate, enabling the publication of preliminary results as early as tomorrow, Friday.

Yesterday, the voting day on Wednesday was marked by logistical chaos. According to the coalition of civil society organizations, Regard Citoyen, nearly one-third of the polling stations were not accessible to voters at the official opening time. “This had implications, particularly on the voters’ sentiments. Some incidents of violence were noted. Additionally, there was the issue of voters not being on the lists, creating further tension. In certain areas, voters became agitated and damaged voting materials,” recounts the coalition’s spokesperson, Paul Kabeya Mukenge.

Soukaina Sghir

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