Sunday, December 30, 2018

Presidential Election Kicks Off in DR Congo
2018/12/30 17:16:11

Voters in the Democratic Republic of Congo cast their ballots on Sunday in an election vital to the future of the central African country.

The election, which comes after repeated delays, will produce a successor to President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, and is deemed decisive for a peaceful transfer of power.

Polling stations opened early Sunday morning at 6:00 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) in the capital Kinshasa. Voters arrived amid a heavy rain that had started two hours ago.

President Kabila and presidential candidates were among the first to vote at a booth in the Gombe commune in Kinshasa. After casting his ballot, Kabila said that despite the rain, "Our people remain determined to overcome the challenges of these elections, together we are writing our own story."

The candidate from the ruling coalition to replace Kabila, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, said he was "confident" about winning the election after casting his ballot.

"I am happy that everything is happening in peace in the whole country and here in Kinshasa. As a candidate of the majority, I am confident of my victory in this election," said Shadary, a former interior minister and currently the permanent secretary of the People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD).

There is concern over the credibility of the election following some organizational problems and a government decision to exclude some 1.2 million voters in three cities due to a deadly Ebola virus outbreak and security reasons.

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