This country had its presidential election postponed for 2 years! Finally people cast votes on Dec 3
Kinshasa, Dec 31: We have heard leaders bringing elections earlier than schedule to renew mandates or polls getting deferred for weeks or may be a few months owing to Opposition's complaints in democracies that are not known to be strong. But in the Democratic Republic of Congo, presidential election was delayed by no less than two years and the citizens of the country got their right to cast ballots only on Sunday, December 30, to elect a new leader.
The voters came out to pick the successor to incumbent President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power in the DRC for almost two decades now (since 2001). The latest election would have seen the country's first-ever democratic transfer of power but an electoral body deferred the voting in three opposition strongholds.
Kabila came to power in 2001 at the age of 29 following the assassination of his father Laurent Desire Kabila by one of his bodyguards. The current president is only the fourth president of the DRC since its independence in 1960. The DRC is the 11th largest country in the world and the 16th largest in terms of population.
Kabila, now 47, refused to step down after his second term ended in 2016 and unleashed state forces on protesters and opponent political forces. It was in August this year that he announced that he would not seek a re-election. On Sunday, Kabila assured that the elections will be "free and fair" adding that his only concern was "very heavy rain" in the country's capital Kinshasa, CNN reported.
The results of the December 30 election are expected to come out on January 15. Of the opposition candidates, only two - former ExxonMobil official Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi, president of the largest Opposition party, have serious chances of becoming the next president of the South-Central African nation, CNN added.