Violence, rain mar Congo elections

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Violence and rain have derailed preparations for presidential and parliamentary elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials said.

Though no credible polling has been done, diplomats expect incumbent Joseph Kabila to win a second term as president of the war-ravaged country against top challenger Etienne Tshisekedi, Britain's The Independent reported Saturday.


Rain has delayed the delivery of election ballots to many of the 60,000 polling stations throughout the country. The electoral commission canceled a news conference Friday, and some international observers believe Monday's elections may be delayed as well, the newspaper reported.

Pre-election rallies in Kinshasa, the nation's capital, left at least one person dead as supporters of Kabila and Tshisekedi hurled stones at each other Friday, the BBC reported.

"Because of the escalating violence seen in Kinshasa, all public demonstrations and other political meetings are canceled this Saturday," Gov. Andre Kimbuta said. "This is for a better result of the electoral process."

Eleven candidates are running for president, the second such election since the 1998-2003 war. More than 18,000 candidates are vying for 500 spots in Parliament.


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