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DR Congo Polls Postponed One Week to December 30

A supporter of Democratic Republic of Congo opposition leader Martin Fayulu reacts after police fire teargas on December 19, 2018 in Kinshasa.

Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been postponed by one week, to Dec. 30, the country's electoral commission said Thursday.

Commission chair Corneille Nangaa told reporters the delay is due to "technical" problems related to the capital, Kinshasa. A fire last week destroyed hundreds of voting machines meant to be used in the city.

News of the postponement initially leaked out after Nangaa held a private meeting with presidential candidates earlier in the day.

DR Congo Poll Delayed One Week
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Despite fears of unrest, a VOA French to Africa reporter in Kinshasa says no soldiers were deployed on the streets of the city, and the capital remained calm.

Congo's polls were originally scheduled to take place in late 2016, but were delayed as President Joseph Kabila refused to step down at the end of his second term.

Kabila and Congo's ruling party have endorsed former interior minister Emmanuel Shadary to be Congo's next president. Shadary faces several strong challengers, including Felix Tshisekedi, the head of Congo's biggest opposition party, and Martin Fayulu, a businessman endorsed by a coalition of opposition groups.

Eddy Isango and Anasthasie Tudieshe contributed to this report.

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