The first round of legislative and local area elections held in the Republic of Congo ‘went well’ according to the head of the country’s electoral body.
‘‘On the whole, Congolese exercised their civic duty in the polls,’‘ Henri Bouka, head of the Independent National Elections Commission is quoted to have said.
He did not give any further details of voter turn out or preliminary results. He was also silent on when the second and final round will be held.
The polls were largely peaceful countrywide amid a social shutdown with restricted vehicular movement and with all shops closed. Eight out of fourteen constituencies in the restive Pool region could not vote due to security reasons.
The region, located in the country’s south has been plunged into a state of insecurity since April last year. There has been reports of deadly clashes between security forces and militia loyal to former rebel leader, Frederic Bintsamou.
A boycott of the polls by a section of the opposition did not seem to affect the process with the Congolese Labour Party (PCT) sure of maintaining their parliamentary majority. Over 700 candidates contested for 151 seats in the National Assembly.
Whiles over 80,000 others vied for 1,158 seats for the position of local councilors. About 2 million voters were expected to cast their ballots across over 5,000 polling stations nationwide.