Congo counts votes in presidential election, after delays

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) – Congo’s election officials were counting votes in a presidential election that the opposition and observers said has had numerous irregularities.

The ballot counting and compiling yesterday took place across the vast Central African country, after an election day with many problems but in which Congolese showed their peaceful determination to register their votes.

Election observers reported multiple difficulties in voting to choose a successor to President Joseph Kabila who is stepping down after 17 years in power.

The election had been delayed since late 2016, prompting the opposition to charge that Kabila was trying to stay on past his mandate.

Congo’s presidential election is hoped to enable the country’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960. The official results are expected on January 15.

Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) agents count votes during an electricity cut while watched by observers at Kiwele college in Lubumbashi last Sunday following the close of polls in the country’s presidential, provincial and national elections. – AFP