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Congo suspended election results stir up violence and bloodshed

 Protesters march outside the United States Embassy in Toronto on their way to Queen's Park in protest of the recent election results in Congo, Tuesda...
 Protesters march outside the United States Embassy in Toronto on their way to Queen's Park in protest of the recent election results in Congo, Tuesda...
 Protesters march outside the United States Embassy in Toronto on their way to Queen's Park in protest of the recent election results in Congo, Tuesda...
 Protesters march outside the United States Embassy in Toronto on their way to Queen's Park in protest of the recent election results in Congo, Tuesda...

Congo Protest Toronto

Protesters march outside the United States Embassy in Toronto on their way to Queen's Park in protest of the recent election results in Congo, Tuesda...

Congo Protest Toronto

Protesters march outside the United States Embassy in Toronto on their way to Queen's Park in protest of the recent election results in Congo, Tuesda...

Congo Protest Toronto

Protesters march outside the United States Embassy in Toronto on their way to Queen's Park in protest of the recent election results in Congo, Tuesda...

Congo Protest Toronto

Protesters march outside the United States Embassy in Toronto on their way to Queen's Park in protest of the recent election results in Congo, Tuesda...

Democratic Republic of Congo’s presidential election commission has announced that the final results will be suspended for two days due to logistical problems, stirring up violence as opposition’s rage toward the current president Joseph Kabila.

Partial preliminary results from the November 28 vote, representing 70 percent of the ballots cast, give President Joseph Kabila a 10-point lead over Etienne Tshisekedi. However, due to the logistical problems, both of current President Joseph Kabila and challenger Etienne Tshisekedi have already claimed victory, raising fears of bloodshed if neither accepts the result.

The election was marred by massive technical glitches and ballots not reaching polling stations until three days after the vote was scheduled to take place.

The government rushed the election because Kabila’s five-year term expired Tuesday at midnight.

The delay adds to problems in a vote marred by violence, logistical problems and allegations of fraud. The opposition has said it will reject the outcome.

Riot police were called in to guard the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo Tuesday as dozens of protesters swarmed the building complaining of election rigging and violence in that country.


They demanded to go inside the embassy to remove the photo of the current president, Joseph Kabila.

“He lost but he doesn’t want to go. He’s killing people everyday,” said Malaica Harija, 29, a Congo native who said she lives in Montreal. “The Kabila picture is big and colourful and I don’t want to see that anymore.”

They wanted to install pictures of his opponent, Etienne Tshisekedi, who they feel would make for a better leader.

The 48-hour delay means that President Joseph Kabila will be staying in office past his legal mandate, and analysts worry that the country could slide into a situation of unconstitutional power which could stoke tension in Congo.

On state television, the presenter interrupted the coverage of a soccer match to read a statement from the commission announcing the 48-hour suspended which it said was for the sake of the transparency of the election.

Congo is staging only its second democratic election and the process has been flawed at every step, from the late printing and delivery of ballots, to the chaotic counting centers where trucks were dumping containers filled with ballots and frequent power cuts interrupted the entry of data.

With more than two-thirds of the vote counted, Tshisekedi was trailing with 36 percent of the 12.6 million votes tabulated so far. Joseph Kabila, the sitting president who is a former rebel commander and whose elite guard is already accused of gunning down at least 14 opposition supporters, had a nearly-insurmountable lead of 46 percent.

Election violence has already left at least 18 dead and more than 100 wounded, with most of the deaths caused by troops loyal to Kabila, according to a report by Human Rights Watch.

"I urge leaders, commanders, and politicians on all sides to calm your supporters. Electoral violence is no longer a ticket to power, I assure you. It is a ticket to The Hague," he said.