4 killed in eastern DR Congo province: Tshisekedi campaign

Voting in Democratic Republic of Congo's long-anticipated presidential election got off to a shaky start on Sunday due to torrential rain in the capital.
Joseph Kabila voted in Sunday election and said the election is 'free and fair'.
A man holds his voter card at a symbolic polling station on Dec 30, 2018.
A man holds his voter card at a symbolic polling station on Dec 30, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

KINSHASA (AFP) - Four people including a police officer and an electoral official were killed Sunday (Dec 30) in eastern South Kivu province as the Democratic Republic of the Congo voted in presidential elections, the campaign of opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi said.

The officer and official were killed along with two civilians during clashes at a polling station in the Walungu area, campaign director Vital Kamerhe told AFP.  He said the violence broke out after the electoral official was accused of trying to rig the vote in favour of Mr Emmanuel Ramazini Shadary, the candidate championed by President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power for 17 years. 

“An agitated crowd started fighting with police. An officer was killed, which we deeply regret,” said Mr Kamerhe, a former president of the National Assembly who is from South Kivu. 

The mob “then attacked the electoral official who died. Two civilians were also killed”. South Kivu authorities said an investigation had been opened into the incident. 

Catholic Church election observers (Cenco) did not mention the deaths in their third and final report on Sunday’s vote at 2000 GMT. 

The election gives the DRC the chance for its first peaceful transfer of power since it gained independence from Belgium in 1960. 

Analysts, though, warned that the threat of upheaval was great, given organisational hitches and suspicion of Mr Kabila, who had refused to quit in 2016 after his two-term limit expired.