Dispatches from the Congo
Friends of the Congo delegation to observe the elections says things are very calm in Kinshasa. Although there was a lot of rain in the morning which slowed the opening of the polls things are moving briskly and voters are now steadily streaming to the polls.
In spite of the sporadic violence leading up to today's polls, voting is expected to be relatively peaceful. The crucial period will be between the end of voting and when the results are announced on November 19, 2006.
Our delegation has reported that the voting went well in Kinshasa. It did not appear that there was as large a turnout as occurred in the first round. The counting of the votes has begun.
We will provide more in depth reports as they come in from different parts of the country. Some observers are reporting that Congolese soldiers were preventing voters from going to the polls in the Ituri district (northeast of the Congo) unless they paid the soldiers in order to get access to the polls.