Congo elections today

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The Democratic People’s Republic of Congo flooded the polling center today with the hope to change the future of the turbulent state, though it is fearful that it may be sued for terrorism.

Millions of voters will vote for President Joseph Kabila’s replacement who will resign two years after his term ends.

This election gave Congo the first opportunity to secure a peaceful transition from independence from Belgium in 1960.

However, analysts say the risk of violence is largely the result of problems in administration and suspicion of Kabila.

The polling station opened as early as 6 am in the east of the country, witnessing officials and observers among the earliest cast votes in Lubumbashi. The vote is expected to open until 5 pm.

A total of 21 candidates contesting in the presidential election this time, simultaneously with the election of legislative and municipal bodies.

Among the main candidates include Kabila’s protégé, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, a former interior minister who faced the European Union (EU) following a violent protest against protesters.

Shadary will face key competitors such as Martin Fayulu, a lawmaker and former petroleum executive besides UDPS veteran opposition leader Tshisekedi.

According to analyst Jason Stearns of the Congo Research Group based at New York University International Cooperation Center, if this election is ‘free and fair’, the opposition candidate will surely win.

Clearly Stearns, many polls point out that Fayulu became the preferred candidate, earning about 44 percent of the votes followed by Tshisekedi with 24 percent and 18 percent for Shadary.

Among the 43 to 63 percent of respondents said they would not accept the decision if Shadary was announced as a winner, he said.

Meanwhile, Kabila convinces the people that everything will go smoothly today.