Voters in the Democratic Republic of Congo are preparing for Monday’s presidential and legislative elections with opposition candidates already claiming fraud following violence in the capital in which at least two people were killed.
Electoral commission vice president Jacques Djoli Eseng’Ekeli says ballots and ballot boxes are being delivered by helicopter to remote polling stations in this country the size of Western Europe. Eseng’Ekeli says there may be some difficulties for some people to find the right place to vote, but he expects that everyone will eventually be able to cast their ballots.
In just the second multi-party election since independence, and the first to be organized entirely by Congolese, the logistic challenges are as enormous at the country itself. With more than 18,000 people running for 500 seats in the national assembly, voters at some polling stations in the capital will receive ballots more than 50 pages long.
Electoral observer David Pottie from the US-based Carter Center says electoral officials are working overtime to get the job done by Monday morning. “There is a very real concern that not all the requisite number of ballot papers will get to the proper places on time to allow for the opening of the polls,” he said