Preliminary results will delay: DRC elections body says

More than 46 million people were registered to vote in the DRC's presidential election totalling more than half of the country's 84 million people

The Catholic Bishops' National Episcopal Conference of the Congo (CENCO) did not name the victor, but said in a statement Thursday that "data in its possession, extracted from vote counting reports from polling stations, designates the selection of one candidate as president".

"We are working around the clock". We are doing our best to publish the results on 6 January.

But on Thursday, CENI chief Corneille Nangaa told AFP that provisional results may be delayed. Regional observers have said the vote went relatively well given the organisational challenges.

This could be Congo's first peaceful transition of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.

"If the results during the publication of the presidential results don't reflect the truth ... trouble will break out across the city", said Fabrice Shweka, a Goma resident.

That's because less than a fifth of the tally sheets from around the country have reached the commission offices in Kinshasa.

The elections, held on December 30 after repeated delays, will determine who succeeds President Joseph Kabila, who has been at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest country for almost 18 years.

Worries of a new descent into violence deepened two years ago after Kabila, in power since 2001, refused to quit when his two-term limit expired.

9 people injured, suspect arrested in Tokyo van attack
Local TV footage showed the small van with a smashed-up front end as ambulance workers and police officers rushed to the scene. There is no information so far to suggest foreign tourists were among the injured, the police spokesman said.

Tensions have risen over the marathon counting process with opposition fears running high that the result will be rigged to favour Kabila's preferred successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

Edmontonian Robert Suraki Watum said it is "a duty" for the Congolese diaspora to speak out publicly about the election, since they have the freedom to do so. "The mission strongly wishes that the results that will be declared are true to the vote of the Congolese people".

"The Common Front for the Congo (FCC) regrets the internet shutdown since Monday, but notes that some people tried to use the internet to pit the Congolese people against each other", said Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, FCC spokesperson.

According to CENI's timetable, provisional results are due to be published by January 6 - a goal that the commission had reaffirmed just on Tuesday.

And Radio France Internationale said its broadcasts had been jammed from Monday evening.

Congolese authorities have blocked RFI's broadcasts after accusing it of fanning controversy by declaring early results - an allegation it denies. Results from all 73,000 voting stations would then be consolidated, he said.

Mende said authorities also cut the signal of local Canal Congo television, seen as close to the opposition, for broadcasting election results before an official announcement.

The election commission CENI has scheduled to unveil the provisional results on Sunday, followed by the definitive results on January 15 and inauguration of the next president three days later.

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