No December election without voting machines: DR Congo poll chief


Congolese opposition supporters chant slogans during a march to press President Joseph Kabila to step down in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, September 19, 2016.

KINSHASA - DR Congo&39;s long-delayed election due on 23 December to choose a successor to long-serving ruler Joseph Kabila will not take place without electronic voting machines, the poll chief said on Tuesday

"Without voting machines, there will be no elections on 23 December 2018," election commission head Corneille Nangaa said.

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The threat came a day after the United States, France, Britain and four other UN Security Council members called on Kabila to publicly declare that he will not run for election this year.

Washington separately asked Kinshasa to scrap plans to use electronic voting for the first time in elections this year, saying it risked undermining the credibility of the historic polls.

"These elections must be held by paper ballot so there is no question by the Congolese people about the result," said US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

"The US has no appetite to support an electronic voting system," she said, adding that e-ballots had never been tested in the country.

Kabila, 46, who has ruled for 17 years, has not yet clearly stated whether he will step aside.