The national election, scheduled for Sunday December 23, have been postponed by at least a week to December 30.  There is uncertainty if even that date can be met.

Last week, a fire destroyed 80% of the recently purchased voting machines to be used in Kinshasa and all of the available paper ballots.  The election commission has said that it is not technically possible to run the election on December 23.  That is likely true given the fire, but the cause or people behind that fire remains unknown.  Given that current President Kabila’s preferred candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, is only polling at 16%, suspicions remain.

The leading two candidates in recent polls, Felix Tshisekedi (36%) and Vital Kamerhe (17%) have indicated that they will work together, which caused joyous riots in the streets of Kinshasa when announced last month.  Kamerhe will serve as Prime Minister if Tshisekedi is elected as President.  Felix is the son of the legendary Etienne Tshisekedi who was the most prominent opponent to current President Joseph Kabila over the years.  Felix has promised to eliminate the corruption, will probably be a nightmare for Kabila but has been described as inexperienced and over his head given the vast problems facing Congo.