KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — The Latest on Congo’s presidential election (all times local):
Amid rainy weather, Congo’s outgoing President Joseph Kabila and his chosen successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, have voted in the country’s presidential election.
After voting, Kabila urged others to vote: “My message today to my compatriots is to come and vote for their candidates and brave the rain.”
Shadary called for “peace and calm,” adding “I am very confident in victory because the Congolese people will trust me, I campaigned all over the country.”
Polls opened and people began voting in Congo for the long-delayed presidential election, amid worries over the exclusion of three cities from the voting.
“We declare the polling station open” said Francoise Ntadianga Tshiela, head of the the Gombe Institute voting center in the heart of Kinshasa, surrounded by embassies and government offices.
Some unrest is feared in the election after a last-minute decision to bar an estimated 1 million people from voting because of a deadly Ebola virus outbreak in the east. The decision has been widely criticized as threatening the credibility of the election.
Two main opposition candidates, Martin Fayulu and Felix Tshisekedi, are challenging President Joseph Kabila’s preferred successor, the European Union-sanctioned former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.
AP writers Saleh Mwanimilongo and Mathilde Boussion contributed to this from Kinshasa, Congo.