Polls in DR Congo open as insecurity fears persist


DRC – Some 44 million people have the chance on Wednesday to pick the next president of the Democratic Republic of Congo from a field of 19 candidates.

BBC reported that on the face of it, the numbers suggested a thriving democracy.

The success of this election could go some way towards enhancing stability in the country and ensure that the metal is extracted in a safe way that benefits the Congolese people.

President Félix Tshisekedi is asking the electorate to give him a second term.

Read more: ZIMEC: DRC seeks Zambian partnerships to drive mineral value addition

But among those who want to get in his way are wealthy mining magnate, Moïse Katumbi, and former oil executive, Martin Fayulu, who believes that he won the last election in 2018, the result of which was questioned by several international observers.

As before, in this election there is only one round of voting and the winner will be the candidate with the most votes.

The large number of challengers to Tshisekedi could work to his advantage, as it may divide opposition support.

Voters are also choosing parliamentary, provincial and municipal representatives – with about 100,000 candidates in total – in this huge country, which stretches some 2,000km (1,400 miles) west to east.

In order to help get voting materials to the more than 175,000 polling booths, the electoral commission has enlisted the help of United Nations peacekeepers.

In the east, insecurity had dominated the run-up to the polls.

Dozens of armed groups had been competing to control parts of the region.

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