4 killed in DR Congo polling station

Four people including a police officer and an electoral official were killed in eastern South-Kivu province on Sunday as the Democratic Republic of Congo held presidential elections.

Vital Kamerhe, the campaign director for opposition candidate Felix Tshishekdi, told AFP that a police officer and an electoral official were killed along with two civilians during clashes at a polling station in the Walungu area.

A police officer shot dead a young man after a dispute over alleged voting fraud, and the surrounding crowd then beat the officer to death, a witness and a local politician told Reuters.

The main opposition camps meanwhile have complained of widespread irregularities after a chaotic vote that was disrupted by long queues, broken voting machines and torrential rain.

Speaking in Kinshasa, Martin Fayulu, presidential candidate for the LAMUKA coalition, listed malfunctioning voting machines, the late display of electoral lists and the expulsion of LAMUKA witnesses at polling stations, which he said would have serious consequences.

“In several centres of the country voting machines did not work, either because of incompatibility with the USB key or because of an absence of cables for connecting to the external battery or because the machines were heating up. All these irregularities will assuredly have a negative impact on the CENI process, from which the LAMUKA coalition will draw the consequences when the time comes,” Fayulu said.

Voting in the election to replace President Joseph Kabila, who is due to step down next month after 18 years in power, continued into the evening in some Kinshasa neighbourhoods where polling had opened hours late due to an absence of voter rolls.

In other areas, election officials began counting ballots by torchlight, keeping count on classroom chalkboards. The first partial results are expected within the next two days.