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Good Reads: Flawed elections in Congo, and voters protest Putin in Russia

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Adam Nossiter of The New York Times tells this human impact of this election by talking with the long lines of people – perhaps as many as 3,000 thus far – queuing up with their families to cross the Congo river from Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo to the relative safety of Brazzaville, the capital of the neighboring Republic of Congo.

Mr. Nossiter also talks with election observers, who warn that the election irregularities could be on such a scale that they undermine credibility in any result announced today.

“The chain of custody is being broken, materials are just thrown into the back of trucks, there’s evidence of extremely large numbers of envelopes with vote-tally sheets that have been opened,” said David Pottie of the Carter Center, the Atlanta-based organization founded by former President Jimmy Carter to promote human rights. “There are inconsistencies in the application of procedures — in some cases these are extremely serious, on a massive scale,” Mr. Pottie said.

But are these irregularities intentional? Kabila’s own vice president plays the “we’re a developing country” card and argues that any irregularities are just rookie mistakes in a country with bad infrastructure and poor education levels.

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