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Vote counting underway in DRC following elections

Long queues, broken-down electronic voting machines and torrential rain in the capital Kinshasa marked the Congolese presidential election.

Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) agents count votes during an electricity cut while watched by observers at Kiwele college in Lubumbashi on 30 December 2018, following the close of polls in the country's presidential, provincial and national elections. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Counting is underway after voting in Sunday’s presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The opposition is accusing the authorities of deliberately blocking voters from casting their ballots.

Long queues, broken-down electronic voting machines and torrential rain in the capital Kinshasa marked the Congolese presidential election.

Observers say it will provide the first democratic change of president in the country’s history.

Others fear that if, as seems most likely, the outcome is disputed it will drive the central African giant back into instability.

Voting was postponed until March in three areas affected by rebel activity, ethnic clashes and the Ebola outbreak.

The more than 1,2 million votes from these opposition strongholds will not count towards the presidential contest.