Early reports suggest that there will be trouble at various polling stations due to inadequate administrative preparations. It is a foreign concept in Africa to have to meet a deadline.

For some context, Elections Canada mobilizes 190,000 people to facilitate a Canadian general election. Canada has roughly half the population (35 million vs 70 million), a lower voter turnout (61% vs 80%), immensely superior techncial abilities and lengthy experience running elections compared to Congo. Congo simply doesn’t have the resources, training and experience to conduct a general election to Western standards without hiccups. Most importantly, a democratic acceptance of peacefully losing has not yet been ingrained into the culture.

The two main candidates on the weekend incredibly scheduled major campaign rallies in Kinshassa a few kilometers from each other. Police forced the cancellation of the rallies for fear of violence, but it led to police shooting rioters upset with the cancellations.

The real trouble will start when groups feel they have been unfairly disenfranchised, or they are simply ticked off, which will be exaggerated by the inadequate administrative preparations. This will be more fully expressed when results are announced next week.