An “overwhelming” response was received by voters for the upcoming general elections as more than 31 million people registered to vote. This is a great increase from the 25.6 million that registered in 2006.

Chairperson Daniel Goya, of the Independent National Electoral Commission (Ceni) said that the response was “more than expected” and showed that people are willing to take part in national development. A step in the right direction for the country that has been dubbed the rape capital of the world.

Once registration is complete the electoral campaigns will be launched at the end of August. Seeking re-election in the November 28 election is President Joseph Kabila. He was the winner of Congo’s first democratic election in 40 years and is credited by some DRC natives to have ended the war.

President Kabila is likely to face competition from Etienne Tshisekedi of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress party and former Speaker of the House of Assembly, Vital Kamerhe, who heads the Congolese National Union party.

The runner up in the 2006 presidential election, Jean-Pierre Bemba, is facing trial at the International Criminal Court so may not be able to participate in the polls.

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