DR Congo enters second day of chaotic election


Kinshasa, Dec 21 (AFP/APP):Voters in DR Congo are due to go to the polls again on Thursday, in a general election marked by severe logistical troubles that meant some polling stations never opened.
              The impoverished but mineral-rich central African nation staged four concurrent elections on Wednesday -- to pick a president, national and regional lawmakers as well as local councillors. 
              President Felix Tshisekedi, 60, is running for a second term in office against a backdrop of years of economic growth but little job creation and soaring inflation.
              But the vote on Wednesday was marked by massive delays nationwide, with the electoral commission still attempting to deliver materials to voting stations long after polls were meant to have opened. 
              In some cases, polls never opened, leaving people unable to cast ballots. 
              Denis Kadima, the head of the electoral commission, declared on national television on Wednesday night that places unable to vote that day would vote on Thursday. 
              But details about the extension remain unclear. Nor is it clear how much of the country is affected. 
              Kadima also told reporters that "not less than 70 percent" of electors had been able to vote, but he stressed that this was an estimate. 
              Five opposition presidential candidates in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including prominent figures Martin Fayulu and Denis Mukwege, rejected the extension on Wednesday night on the grounds that it was illegal. 
              In a joint statement, they called for fresh elections.
              The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world, despite its vast reserves of copper, cobalt and gold.
              Around 44 million Congolese -- in a nation of 100 million -- are registered to vote. And more than 100,000 candidates are running for various positions.
              Results are not expected for several days.