Three days before the Democratic Republic of Congo was to choose its first new president in 18 years, it announced on Thursday that it was postponing the election.

After already dragging its feet for two years, Congo’s electoral commission said that it was “technically incapable” of holding the long-anticipated vote on Sunday that would have chosen a successor to President Joseph Kabila.

Violence, technical problems — including a mysterious fire that incinerated thousands of voting machines in the capital last week — and an Ebola epidemic ravaging parts of eastern Congo were cited as reasons for the delay.

Violence had flared up this week, with more than 100 people killed in election-related clashes. Now there are worries of greater instability in the country, with disgruntled citizens fed up with their president’s long reign.



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