Delayed Congo legislative vote begins in Ebola areas

BENI, Congo — Long-awaited legislative elections are underway in three provincial centres in Congo after authorities postponed them because of Ebola and violence.

In the town of Beni on Sunday, voters were washing their hands before entering polling centres as a protection against Ebola, which is transmitted by the bodily fluids of sick people.

Voters in Beni, Butembo and Yumbi were not allowed to vote in January when Congo chose a new president. Officials said the Ebola virus posed too great a threat at the time in the eastern cities of Beni and Butembo.

Elections were delayed in Yumbi because of intercommunal violence.

Voting turnout was expected to be low. Albert Somo, a teacher in Beni, said people were disappointed and discouraged because they were not permitted to participate in the presidential vote.




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