Voting is underway in the Democratic Republic of Congo in an historic election for a new president and parliament. Hopes are high that this, the first multi-party poll in nearly half a century, will end years of war and chaos. Voters have walked for miles to make sure they will be making their mark on the country’s future. There are 32 presidential hopefuls to choose from and some 9000 candidates running for parliament. The largest ever UN peacekeeping force has been deployed across the country to make sure the vote is free and fair.
Incumbent President Joseph Kabila is widely considered the front-runner in the poll. His main challenge comes from former warlord Jean Pierre Bemba. Both have called for a peaceful ballot – but in a grim reminder of how things could degenerate – Bemba earlier warned he would set the country ablaze if Kabila stole the vote.