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Tense wait for election results in volatile DR Congo

On Saturday, just hours before Sunday's scheduled announcement of the provisional outcome, the electoral commission announced a delay until next week, without giving a specific date.

FILE: People wait to vote at Katendere polling station in Goma on 30 December 2018, during Democratic Republic of Congo's general elections. Picture: AFP

KINSHASA - The DR Congo was on tenterhooks Sunday, awaiting a new date for officials to announce the results of elections to replace Joseph Kabila as president of the volatile central African country.

On Saturday, just hours before Sunday's scheduled announcement of the provisional outcome, the electoral commission announced a delay until next week, without giving a specific date.

Amid fears of vote tampering and calls from world powers for voters' wishes to be respected, commission president Corneille Nangaa said little over half of ballots had been collected.

Insisting the commission should be allowed time to do its work, Nangaa decried what he referred to as "threats" from diplomats over the December 30 polls.

Twenty-one candidates ran in the election to succeed Kabila, who has ruled the vast conflict-ridden country for almost 18 years.

Among the frontrunners were Kabila's handpicked successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary and two opposition candidates: veteran heavyweight Felix Tshisekedi and newcomer Martin Fayulu.