DRC: Last votes for polling stations with a queue still

Voting was supposed to wrap up by 17 p.m. on Wednesday, but logistical and technical problems caused significant delays, even in the capital, which was supposed to be the most logistically well-off.

An official verifies the identity of voters during the extra day of voting for the DRC general elections, December 21, 2023. © ZOHRA BENSEMRA / REUTERS

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Kinshasa, Patient Ligodi

The electoral process continued in several polling centers across the DRC, including in places where voting could not take place on Wednesday, the day originally scheduled for these elections.

Didi Manara, second vice-president of the CENI, said on Thursday evening that the electoral centre will not allow any polling stations to operate on Friday, except those that still have queues of voters. "We can go until the wee hours, until the end of the queue," he told RFI.

The CENI announces 97% of polling stations open

The CENI welcomed the mobilization of voters, and announced the opening of at least 97% of polling stations. "Our country has a continental scale, and already achieving this score is a miracle [...] We are there," says Didi Manara. However, some election observation missions put forward much lower figures due to the various problems encountered.

Didi Manara describes these reports as "rushed, even sentimental". He said the tabulation of the results has begun in most provinces, and on Friday, the envelopes containing the results will begin to be sent to Kinshasa.

The CENI hopes for a gradual publication of the results as early as this Friday, with the aim of knowing the name of the winner before the end of the year.

Voters are tired of waiting in Goma

On Thursday, voting also continued in Goma, one of the largest cities in the east of the country. In the Ndhoso district, at the Nyabushongo Institute, the wait is endless, points out our correspondent in Goma, Coralie Pierret.

In the queue, voters are exhausted and burned. Some have been standing at the foot of the crane since Wednesday 6 a.m. In this center, some polling stations opened on Wednesday morning and closed a few hours later because the batteries of the voting machines were discharged, confirm observer and agent of the CENI.

On Thursday morning, voting resumed intermittently and technicians arrived at midday. It is difficult to know how many centres were affected by the resumption of voting on Thursday. More than four, according to the local CENI, without specifying the exact number. "All the polling stations opened on Wednesday, but some had to stop their activity because of technical problems," the CENI said.

More broadly, in the province, in the territory of Walikalé, out of 415 offices, 13 were unable to operate on Wednesday. But throughout North Kivu, all voting operations should be completed on Thursday, the CENI reassured.

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Read on the same topics:

  • Ground floor
  • Elections in the DRC