DR Congo elections body delays voting in three cities

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral authority on Wednesday said it had postponed Sunday’s presidential election in three cities until next March due to insecurity and the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

The latest move means the votes from the three cities – Yumbi, Beni and Butembo – would not be taken into account in the landmark presidential poll.

The electoral body however confirmed that the elections will go on as scheduled in the other regions of the vast central African country.

Final results for the presidential election will be announced on January 15 and the new president sworn in on January 18.

The DR Congo presidential election was initially scheduled for November 2016, but the electoral body, CENI, said it was not able to conduct the poll due to logistical challenges.

Opposition leaders accused President Joseph Kabila of frustrating the elections as a means of clinging on to power, allegations he denied.

Should the elections now go on smoothly as planned, this will be the first time the DR Congo witnesses a peaceful transfer of power since its independence in 1960.