On the streets of Kinshasa security has been heightened ahead of the expected results of Congo’s presidential election.
A partial count of nearly 70 percent of the ballot has given incumbent Joseph Kabila a 10 point lead over his chief rival, Etienne Tshisekedi. The opposition says it will refuse to accept the result.
Voting has been dogged by claims of fraud while officials have struggled to complete the count to meet Tuesday’s deadline, the fifth anniversary of Kibila’s inauguration and the day, the opposition says, marks the end of his term.
Officials said they will consider releasing partial results if they fail to finish counting all the votes.
Election monitor Elie Lula Beya said: “I think the results that leave here will in no way represent those from the votes which have already been counted in polling stations or how they were announced at the time,” she said.
The number fleeing the capital for neighbouring Brazaville has risen sharply amid fears of street violence. The US based Human Rights Watch claims at least 18 people have already been killed.
Kabila supporters have warned the government will have to call in the army if the protests turn chaotic. International monitors had been present but left before counting started.