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DR Congo elections: Why do voters mistrust electronic voting?

The Democratic Republic of Congo is heading to the polls on 23 December to elect a new president for the first time since 2001.

Current President Joseph Kabila is stepping down and, as polling day nears, concerns about the running of the election in this vast country - nearly the size of Western Europe - are growing.

In the early hours of Thursday, 10 days before the vote, a fire gutted one of the main electoral commission warehouses, destroying more than two-thirds of the electronic voting machines allocated for the capital Kinshasa.

The cause of the fire is unconfirmed.

Throughout the campaign, the use of these electronic voting machines for the first time has been a major source of contention.

Felix Tshisekedi, one of the opposition leaders vying for the presidency, has raised concerns about the e-voting machines. The other main opposition group, led by Martin Fayulu, has even threatened to boycott the poll.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, recently at a Security Council Meeting - and to stick with the "trusted, tested, transparent, and easy-to-use voting method" of paper ballots.

Elections in DR Congo have long been a logistical nightmare and previous elections have been marred by serious irregularities.

There are 46 million eligible voters casting ballots for 34,900 candidates for 500 national and 715 provincial seats and 21 presidential aspirants at 21,100 polling centres, across this huge and mostly rural country.

The electoral commission plans to roll out at least 105,000 electronic voting machines, supplied by South Korean company Miru Systems.

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