Millions vote in Congo despite concerns

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Voters in the Democratic Republic of Congo went to the polls Monday amid reports of scattered violence.

Many polling places opened late, some lacked enough ballots and many people couldn't find their names on voting lists, The New York Times reported.


Joseph Kabila, 40, Congo's unpopular president for the past decade, has been accused of using violence and intimidation to keep his office. The Times reported troops loyal to him have killed several opposition supporters, including as many as nine people during the weekend in an election-related confrontation.

U.N. officials and other election observers said Kabila's men were stuffing ballot boxes, intimidating voters and offering bribes.

Challenging Kabila is Etienne Tshisekedi, Congo's leading opposition figure who briefly served as prime minister several times.

Analysts said they fear both Kabila and Tshisekedi likely will declare themselves the winner, which could lead to violence, the Times said.

Congo election officials hinted voting could be extended for several days to make up for a late start in several remote areas, instead of ending Monday.

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