Elections held yesterday, December 20th, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have faced significant issues that have seen voting extended an additional day, into December 21st. As polling stations were opening yesterday the DRC’s electoral commission was still attempting to deliver supplies to some stations, causing them to open late, meanwhile at some others occasional breakouts of violence hampered voting efforts.
In response, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) allowed voting to carry over into the 21st, a decision that has come under fire from opposition groups, several of which are calling for fresh elections.
Several opposition groups have also accused the government of fraud regarding the elections, as well as severe mismanagement.
Prior to the election, incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi has been the projected winner. If elected again, it will be his second 5-year term, which will be his last due to the DRC’s 2-term limit for President’s. He runs against around 20 other candidates, however the opposition is largely divided, with recent pre-election polls showing Tshisekedi at 49% of the vote, and runner-up Moise Katumbi at 28%.
War in the East
The DRC’s election has faced significant logistical issues. Within the nations east, largely the North and South Kivu provinces, several regions controlled by armed groups have not been included in national polling.