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>> The long anticipated presidential election in the Democratic Republic of Congo goes off to a shaky start Sunday. Torrential rain in the capital Kinshasa, long delays at some polling stations, and broken down machines meant some voters haven't been able to cast their ballots.>> I've been here since 5 AM and nothing is happening.
Nothing works. The polling stations only just opened at 7 AM, and until now, they still haven't installed the machines, but we are here and waiting to vote. But up until now, nothing is happening and nothing works.>> Add to that an ongoing Ebola outbreak and ethnic violence will mean three opposition strongholds won't get the chance to vote at all.
That decision lead to violence earlier this week. Voting earlier, President Joseph Kabila, in power since his father's assassination in 2001, is due to step down after the elections. Casting his ballot at the same school as the candidate he's backing, former Interior Minister Emmanuel Sagerie. Latest opinion polls showed him trailing two opposition candidates.
Kabila saying he was worried the heavy storm will keep voters at home. The storms have knocked out the power in several polling stations. But this is due to be the first democratic transition for a country plagued by authoritarian rule, coups, and civil wars since independence from Belgium in 1960.
This election was meant to happen in 2016. And despite the repeated delays, diplomats and poll observers say, authorities are ill prepared, raising fears of a repeat of the violence that's followed previous elections. The most recent poll released, shows former Exxon Mobil manager and opposition lawmaker Martin Fayulu, leading the race.
Kabila has agreed to stay to constitution term limits which represents progress in Africa's second largest country. However critics says they doubt the vote will be untarnished by fraud and that Kabila could continue to rule from the sidelines.